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The ancient mouth of the Hudson River, according to recent data of 
the U. S. Geological Survey. Drawn for and published in the JVezu York 
Herald^ and reproduced here by permission. The dotted lines indicate the 
the present contour of land in New Jersey and Manhattan. 


History of Bayonne, 



RoYDEN Page Whitcomb. 

Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 
24 East 37TH Street, 
Bayonne, N. J. 

Two Copies Meceived 

DEC 20 1 904 

Copyriifiti entry 


Copyright 1904, 


INTRODUCTION, by Mayor Thomas Brady 12 



Pre-Glacial Ages. 


Discovery — Indians — Description of Country. 


1614 — 1646. Early Settlements and Grants at Manhattan, Pavonia 
and Communipaw — Massacre at Pavonia. 


1646 — 1776. Grants of Land on Constable's Hook and Bergen Neck 
— Bayonne Settled by the Dutch — Indian Troubles — Return of 
Settlers, and Final Settlement at Pembrepogh — Settlement at 
Bergen — Description in 1680 — Early Education and Law — Census 
of Bergen County in 1737. 


Constable's Hook. Early Property Owners — Van Buskirk Home- 
stead — First Bank of Constable's Hook — First Cemetery Laid 
Out — Tombstone Inscriptions ; Names and Dates — Slaves Bought 
and Sold — Newspaper Extracts — Early Real Estate Speculation — 
Captain Kidd's Hill and Buried Treasures. 




1776 — 1782. Bergen Neck During the Revolution — Troops 
Stationed and Fort Delancey Erected — Trouble with Tories — 
Skirmishes Between American and British Troops — Unlawful- 
ness and Murders — Ward's Band — Attacks Upon — Newspaper 
Extracts — Fort Delancey Evacuated. 


1782 — 1830. Peace — Washington Greeted by the Inhabitants on 
His Way to New York — Slavery Declared — Immigration and 
Education — War of 1812 — First Manufacturing Concern at Con- 
stable's Hook — Extreme Cold — Humor of 1826. 


1830 — 1857. Description in 1830 — Pursuits — Cholera — Boundary 
Line in New York Bay — Morris Canal Through — Hudson 
County Erected — New Cemetary — Town Officials in 1855. 


1857 — 1860. Act to Lay Out Streets — School Improvements — 
Bayonne Set Off as a Township — Origin of Name — Township 
Government — General Description. 


i860 — 1866. Civil War — Close Light Guards — Excitement During 
War — First Port Johnson Coal Docks. 


1866 — 1872. Incorporated as a City — Charter Submitted to the 
People — Newspaper Extracts — First City Officials — Last Meeting 
of Township Committee Men — Organization of City Govern- 
ment — Important Ordinances — Assessed Valuation of Property in 
1869 — Public Improvements — First Police Chief — First Annual 
Tax Assessment — Organization of Fire Department — First Sewer 




1872 — 1879. Revised Charter — First Street Lamps — School Im- 
provements — First Fire Chief — Fourth Ward Created — News- 
paper Extracts. 


1879 — 1883. Lane Elected Mayor — General Description — City 
Finances — Fifth Ward Erected — Contract for City Water — 
Avenue D Macadamized. 


1883 — 1891. Oliver Elected Mayor — Ordinance for Better Observ- 
ance of the Sabbath — Newman Elected Mayor — Street Names 
Changed — Liquor License Increased — Electric Lights — Nevir 
School — Free Mail Delivery — Hospital Founded — Establishment 
of Public Library — Growth of Population — New City Hall — 
Martin Act. 


1891 — 1895. Farr Elected Mayor — Board of Trade Organized — 
High School Established — New City Hall Completed — Celebra- 
tion of Opening — Ordinance to Prohibit Vice and Immorality — 
Kite Experiments — New City Dock — Public Library Opened — 
Annual Tax for 1894 — Contract for Pure Water. 


1895 — 1904. Seymour Elected Mayor — Trouble With Water Com- 
pany — Hudson Boulevard Completed — Extensive School Im- 
provements — St. Luke's Hospital Opened — Standard Oil Com- 
pany's Fire — President McKinley's Death — Small-pox Epidemic 
— The Meeker Act — Street Improvements — St. Luke's Hospital 
Burned — Avenue C Asphalted — Carnegie Gives City Library — 
Work Begun on Public Park — New School No. 8 — Fire Destroys 
Tenements — Reports, Statistics, Etc., Etc., at Close of 1903. 




1904. Thomas Brady, Mayor-Elect, Enters Office — Police Trial 
Board Created — Destructive Fire — Report of Librarian — Bill for 
Bridge Between Bergen Point and Elizabethport — Annual Tax 
Budget for 1904 — City Treasurer's Annual Report — New Build- 
ing for Police Headquarters— Carnegie Library Opened. 


A Glimpse of the City as It is To-day. 


Traveling Facilities from Early Days to Present — Early Country 


Early Worship — First Churches, Etc. 


Population — Births — Marriages — Deaths. 




Pre-glacial Ages Frontispiece 

The City Seal 14 

Dutch Settlers on the Pembrepogh Shore 28 

The Graves of Pioneer Settlers 34 

Van Buskirk Homestead, Constable's Hook, 1776 36 

Bergen Neck, Revolutionary Period 45 

Fort Delancey 50 

Council Hall 7° 

Bird's-Eye View of Bayonne in 1875 72-73 

Newark Bay by Moonlight 91 

On the Newark Bay Shore 108 

The Old Central Railroad Bridge 115 

"Bee Hive," the First Methodist Church 120 



By Thomas Brady, Mayor, 

I take great pleasure in complying with the request of the 
author that I write a few words of introduction to his History of 
Bayonne. So far as I am informed, it is the first attempt on the 
part of any one to collect and record, in permanent form, matters 
of historic interest relating to this locality. It is true that one or 
more histories of this county have been written, but none of them 
have paid much, if any, attention to this particular community. 
The task of the author has, therefore, been that of a pioneer, and 
for that reason we are the more indebted to him. If the contents 
of the book record accurately the events which lead to the settle- 
ment of this part of Bergen Neck, and the trying experiences of 
its early inhabitants, the story will be worth reading ; and if we 
fully appreciate the advantages that we have, as compared with 
them, we should be easily persuaded that the future history of our 
city depends very largely upon ourselves. If we are true to our 
opportunities, our children may be able to say, "We are citizens 
of no mean city." While it may be true that it is two hundred and 
fifty years since the first settlers located here, it is also true that 
the history of Bayonne, from a commercial standpoint, begins at 
a much later date. Prior to- the establishment of the oil refineries 
at Constable's Hook, Bayonne was unknown outside of Port John- 
son, except as a fishing village and summer resort. Since then its 
desirability for commercial purposes has attracted the attention of 
manufacturers and men engaged in large business enterprises. 
Its prospects now seem fair to become one of the principal manu- 
facturing centres of the State. 


Bayonne, like many suburbs under the shadow of a great city, 
has suffered by reason of those who would otherwise have been its 
most influential citizens, being absorbed in the affairs of the me- 
tropolis. With men of force residing' within our borders, who are 
also identified with business interests here, there is a strong prob- 
ability of a greater local interest being developed. I believe that in 
this respect, the present is the beginning of a new epoch. With 
the natural advantages of a large water front, and the facilities 
afforded by the railroads entering our city, there is every reason to 
believe that in the near future great changes will be worked in our 
midst. It is, therefore, fortunate that one of our citizens has un- 
dertaken to perpetuate the memory of the past before all the old 
residents have departed, and the ancient landmarks disappeared. 
Such a book as the History of Bayonne should tend to foster civic 
pride, without which no city can succeed. I have been awaiting 
with much interest the appearance of the book, and feel quite con- 
fident that it will serve a very useful purpose in the community. 

Thomas Brady. 
Mayor's Office, November i, 1904. 

"Let us be students and lovers of our city." 

— Frank Moss. 

City Seal. 



Bayonne is approaching the 250th anniversary of its settle- 
ment. It seems appropriate, therefore, that a history of the place 
be published at this time ; not only to commemorate the anniver- 
sary, but also because such a history has never before been written 
or published, and it is well to have collected in some substantial 
form the historical records of the locality for preservation in our 
homes and libraries, and to serve as a reference and reminder of 
the days gone by. 

The author, with this in mind, undertook the task some time 
ago of preparing a history of Bayonne. After spending consid- 
erable time in difficult research, consulting numerous histories, 
archives, genealogies, ordinances, reports, maps, documents, files 
of old newspapers, and in interviewing and corresponding with 
old inhabitants and past and present city officials — this book is 
the result. 

The writer feels justified in saying that he has always sought 
the most reliable sources of information, striving to give as accu- 
rate, concise and interesting an account of the past as possible. 

Although much labor has been spent sifting statements in 
search for any inaccuracies, it is to be hoped that errors, if any, 
are very few. 

The task, while agreeable, has been no light or superficial one, 
and the author is very grateful to all persons who have assisted 
him in the work. He feels especially indebted to the following 
named: — Thomas Brady, Mayor; George Carragan, President of 
Bayonne Bank ; Mr.* and j\Irs. Nicholus Van Buskirk ; William 
C. Farr, ex-Mayor ; Rev. iMitchell Bronk, Ph.D. ; Frederic Cham- 


berlain, Board of Education ; Mabel E. Smith ; William Nelson, 
Secretary New Jersey Historical Society ; Emmett Smith, City 
Surveyor ; Edwin H. Alexander ; William Dexter ; Rev. F. W. 
Jones ; Principal E. C. Earl ; George W. Yates, Sr. ; Edmund 
Stinson, Councilman ; Nicholus Cubberly ; John F. Lee,* ex- 
President Board of Education ; H. T. Hewitt, Secretary Board of 
Education ; C. J. Rooney, Clerk of County Board of Health and 
Vital Statistics ; Egbert Seymour, ex-Mayor ; H. G. Saltzman ; 
Joseph Brady, City Treasurer ; C. L. Robinson, Collector of Reve- 
nue ; Cornelius Van Horn, 

That this volume may enlighten and interest the reader, and 
be the means of developing and reviving that honest civic pride 
which is essential to the best citizenship — is the sincere wish of 

R. P. W. 

Number Twenty-four East Thirty-seventh Street, 
October, 1904. 

♦Recently deceased. 


Pre-Glacial Ages. 

Thousands of years ago, perhaps 5,000, perhaps 20,000, be- 
Dre the northern section of the American continent was lapped 
1 glacial ice, the whole of Bergen Neck (now Jersey City and 
layonne) was submerged land. The Hudson River at that period 
ad a double channel, the main one flowing down the valley west 
f the Palisades, forming a vast sea north of Staten Island and 
xtending from Newark Heights to South Brooklyn. This sea 
ad two outlets ; one west of Staten Island and the other east ; the 
itter now the Narrows. 

Years later the ice cap from the Arctic regions slowly but 
esistlessly overspread the metropolitan district under hundreds of 
eet of ice, until it had reached a point where the waste from 
lelting was as rapid as the advance. The ice finally blocked the 
i^estern channel with so much pulverized debris of trap, pebbles, 
iirt, sandstone, etc., that it gradually closed that branch of the 
iver, thereby causing the Hudson to flow east of the Palisades 
n a channel deepened and widened by these forces. 

After this change, when the ice had melted and the flow of 
vater in the western channel had consequently lessened, the land 
hat had previously been submerged, appeared. This included a 
larrow strip running north and south, dividing the sea in the 
niddle and forming Bergen Neck, the southern extremity of the. 
r'alisade ridsfe.* 

*See article in the New York "Herald," July 10, 1904. 


Discovery — Indians — Description of Country. 

To acquaint ourselves with the early history of Bayonne, we 
must first look back and glance over a few brief historical facts 
concerning New York, Jersey City and vicinity. 

History tells us that Jean de Verrazzano, a Florentine in the 
service of Francis I, King of France, sailed into New York har- 
bor as early as 1524. He was, therefore, the first white person to 
gaze on the east shore of what is now the City of Bayonne. 

On September 3, 1609, Henry Hudson, in "De Halve Maan" 
(Half Moon), cast anchor inside of what is now Sandy Hook. 
Two days later five of his crew were sent to explore the river 
opening to the north. Passing through the Narrows, they found 
a swift-flowing river to the westward between two islands, the 
shores of which were "as pleasant with Grasse, and Flowers, and 
goodly Trees, as ever they had scene, and very sweet smells came 
from them." (Hudson's Journal.) 

This was the Kill von Kull', or "Het Kill van het Cull," 
meaning the creek of the bay. They went through the Kills so 
far as to see Newark Bay. Upon reaching the mouth of the 
Kills on their return they were attacked by twenty-six Indians, 
in two canoes, who were probably from Manhattan, and one of 
the seamen, John Coleman, was shot through the throat by an 
arrow and killed. This appears to be the nearest approach to 
Bayonne shores by the whites, so far. On the nth, Hudson 
passed through the Narrows and anchored of Constable's Hook. 

BAYO N N E . 19 

'here is no record of his landing, although the natives between 
•ergen Point and Weehawken were very friendly and had ex- 
mded to him many acts of kindness. They visited his vessel 
aily, bringing furs, oysters, corn, beans, pumpkins, grapes and 
pples, to trade. The following day he continued north and 
ntered the river which bears his name. 

This tribe of Indians was called the Raritans, and belonged 
) that stock of the Delawares called the Sanrikans. A small In- 
ian village was probably located at Bergen Point at this time, 
f so, it only remained there for a comparatively short period. 

This territory was then covered with a dense forest. Bears, 
anthers, wolves, wild cats, foxes, rattlesnakes, red deer, beavers, 
ares and squirrels were plentiful, and afforded an excellent hunt- 
ig ground for the savages. The bays on both sides were the 
leans of obtaining fine fish and oysters. 


1614 — 1646. 

Early Settlements and Grants at Manhattan, Pavonia and Communi- 
paw — Massacre at Pavonia. 

Early in 1614 an act was passed by the States General of 
Holland, giving to certain merchants of Amsterdam the exclusive 
right to trade and establish settlements w^ithin the limits of the 
country explored by Hudson. The same year, under this com- 
mission, a fleet of five small trading vessels arrived at Manhattan 
Island. A few rude huts had already been built by former In- 
dian traders, but now a fort for the defense of the place was 
erected and the settlement named New Amsterdam. As early as 
1618 a feeble trading station had been established at Bergen, 
west of the Hudson, but some years elapsed before permanent 
dwellings were built in this neighborhood. 

In April, 1623, an expedition under Captain Cornelius J. 
May, of Amsterdam, with about thirty families, mostly religious 
refugees, arrived at New Amsterdam and began a settlement on 
the lower end of Manhattan Island, This colony was not a suc- 
cess, and much dissatisfaction was shown. 

In June, 1629, the States General granted a bill of "Freedoms 
and Exemptions" to all such private persons as would plant any 
colonies in any part of New Netherland, except Manhattan Island. 
Special privileges were also granted to members of the West 
India Company. Whoever of its members would plant a colony 
of fifty persons should be a feudal lord or "Patroon" of a tract 

BAYO N N E . 21 

'sixteen miles in length fronting on a navigable river, and readi- 
ng eight miles back."* 

As yet, only exploring parties bent on trade with the savages 
lad traversed what is now Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne. 
vio one had ventured to "take up" any lands. However, under 
he stimulus of the bill of "BVeedoms and Exemptions," one 
vlichael Pauw, then burgomaster of New Amsterdam, was im- 
)elled for speculative purposes, no doubt, to obtain from the 
Director General of New Netherland in 1630, grants of two large 
racts, one called "Hoboken Haching" (land of the tobacco pipe), 
nd the other "Ahasimus."* Both of the tracts were parts of 
vhat is now Jersey City. The grantee gave one place the name 
•f "Pavonia." Pauw failed to comply with the conditions set 
orth in his deeds, and was obliged, after three years of contro- 
ersy with the West India Company, to convey his plantation 
lack to that company. 

Michael Paulesen, an official of the company, was placed in 
harge of the plantations in and around Pavonia as superinten- 
lent. It is said he built and occupied a hut at Paulus Hook 
arly as 1633, therefore being the earliest known white resident 
a what is now Hudson County. He was followed by others, and 
ly the year 1643 there were considerable plantations on this side 
if the river. 

In 1643 ^ri Indian, no doubt under stress of great provoca- 
ion, shot and killed a member of the Van Vorst family in this 
ettlement. This resulted in the Massacre of Pavonia on the 
light of February 25, 1643. Soldiers from Manhattan Island 
rossed the Hudson River and attacked the Indians at Com- 
lunipaw, slaughtering nearly one hundred. The northern tribes 
ook the warpath, attacked and destroyed the settlement. The 
ettlers who were not killed fled across the river to New Am- 
terdam. This section remained deserted by the whites for a 
lumber of years. 

*Winfield's History of Hudson County. 



1646 — 1776. 

Grants of Land on Constable's Hook and Bergen Neck — Bayonne 
Settled by the Dutch — Indian Troubles — Return of Settlers and Final Set- 
tlement at Pembrepogh — Settlement at Bergen — Description in 1680 — Early 
Education and Law — Census of Bergen County in 1737. 

The first record we find referring to the Bayonne section is 
dated March, 1646, when Jacob J. Roy, a gunner of Fort Am- 
sterdam, received a grant of land at Constable's Hook. 

"Patent granted to Jacob Jacobsen Roy for the Tract of 
Land called Constapel's Hook, on the Kil van Col (New Jersey). 

"We, William Kieft, Director-General, and the Council of 
New Netherland, etc., etc., 

"Testify and declare herewith, that this day, date as below, 
we have conceded and granted to Jacob Jacobsen Roy a parcel of 
land, called Constapel's Hook, situate on the mainland and sepa- 
rated from Staten Island by the Kil van Col, covering an area of 
one hundred and fifty morgens, according to the surveyor's map, 
with the express condition and stipulation, etc., etc. 

"Done at Fort Amsterdam, , 1646." 

The place was formally called Nipnichsen by the Indians. It 
was soon called Constapel's Hoeck, deriving its name from the 
occupation of its first European owner. The Dutch word for 

B A Y O N N E . 23 

^unner is konstapel; hence Konstapel's Hoeck, or Gunner's Point, 
[t is not known whether Roy settled here, or not, but the proba- 
Dilities are that he did not. 

On December 4 and 5, 1654, patents were issued for land in 
:he southerly part of Jersey City, and in Bayonne. The tracts 
,vere designated by this description : — "Between Gemoenepaen 
md the Kil van Kol." Most of them were for twenty-five mor- 
eens lying within the district afterwards known as Pembrepogh 
'Pamrapo). As that name is not mentioned in the patents, it is 
probable that the same was not then known to the Dutch, or, at 
east, was not applied to this section of the country. 

One of these Patents reads as follows : — 

"To Jan Gerritsen van Immen, a piece of land between 
jemoenepaen and the Kil van Kol, running along the river or 
)ay S. W. for 40 rods back in the woods, 40 rods wide, stretching 
nto the woods N. N. W. for 375 rods on either side, together 25 
norgens. Decbr. 5th, 1654." 

Grants were also issued to : — Jacob Wallingen, Jan Cornelis- 
;en Buys, Jan Lubbertsen, Jan Cornelissen Schoenmaker, Gerrit 
Piertersen, Lubbert Gysbertsen, Jan Cornelissen Crynnen, Gys- 
)ert Lubbertsen and Hendrick Jansen Van Schalckivyck. 

Most of these were owners of land in Pamrapo in the winter 
)f 1654-5. A small company of these property owners, or men 
employed by them, anxious to lay claim to their possessions, 
;ailed from New Amsterdam in the spring of 1655 and erected 
•ude shelters on their new possesions. Here they opened up an 
extensive trade with the Indians, and probably cleared some land 
n preparation for the building of suitable homes for their families, 
rhey were, therefore, the first white settlers, and consequently 
he founders of Bayonne. 

However, the stay of these Dutchmen was short, for on Sep- 
ember 15, 1655, the Indians (provoked at the killing of one of 


their thieving women) attacked New Amsterdam, killing many. 
Then they crossed and attacked Pavonia, Communipaw and 
Hoboken, murdering, burning and stealing as they continued down 
through Bergen Neck (Bayonne), and thence to Staten Island. 
For a second time this section was a desolation. Homes and 
plantations were deserted and the settlers fled to New Amsterdam, 
where they remained some three or four years before returning. 

There is no record as to the exact date when the Dutchmen 
returned to reclaim their property along Bergen Neck. It was 
probably after Jn.nuary 30, 1658, when a deed was drawn up 
whereby the Indians sold the land to the Dutch, that these pioneer 
settlers brought their families and belongings, and made final 

It is uncertain just where these permanent dwellings were 
erected. One would infer, however, that most of them were 
situated close to the New York Bay shore between Forty-third 
Street and the Morris Canal, where it was easy of access to New 
Amsterdam by water. One, the author has reason to believe, 
stood on the present site of the Bayswater Hotel ; another at the 
foot of Centre Street, and another near the present Forty-ninth 
Street station. One or two were probably situated as far back 
as Avenue D, in the neighborhood of Grand Street. 

This settlement at first showed no signs of growth, but after 
a few years (as will shortly be seen), upon the arrival of more 
home-seekers, it began to prosper. 

"1658 Jan. loth. Indian Deed (copy of translation from the 
Dutch). Therinques, Wappappen, Saghkow, Kagkennip, Bomo- 
kan, Memewockan, Sames. Wev/enatokwee, to the Director Gen- 
eral and Council of New Netherland for land on the Westside of 
the North River from the great Clip above Wiehacken to above 
the Island Sikakes, thence to the Kill van Col, so along to Con- 

B A Y O N N E . 25 

stable's Hoeck, thence again to the Chp above Wiehacken" 

The first municipaHty within the Hmits of New Jersey was 
erected by order of Director-General Stuyvesant and his council 
Dn September 5, 1661, and christened "The Village of Bergen." 

The English, in 1664, under Colonel Richard Nicolls, cap- 
tured New Netherlands from the Dutch, but the inhabitants on 
Bergen Neck were not disturbed. 

Constable's Hook appeared to be unoccupied and unclaimed 
upon their taking possession of New York. Consequently, Gov- 
ernor Nicolls gave a patent, October 26, 1664, to Samuel Edsall 
and Nicholas Johnson "for a Neck of Land call'd Nip Nickon 
lying at the mouth of Kil Van Kul."''-* This grant was for five 
hundred acres and included part of Bergen Point, at that time 
called Constable's Hook. 

In 1668 Pemerpoch was applied to that section which lies 
between the Morris Canal and Thirty-third Street. The word 
"Pemerpoch" comes from certain Indian words meaning "Big 
Rock."*** No doubt the Indians referred to the massive rock on 
which a great portion of Pamrapo and Greenville rests, and which 
is most visible in the vicinity of Avenue C and the Canal. 

On November 2, 1670, Johnson sold his interest of Consta- 
ble's Hook to Edsall**** for 4,620 guilders, wampum value, who it 
is supposed erected a log house at the Hook, and cleared and 
tilled the land ; in a short time he had a flourishing plantation.***** 

*New Jersey Archives. First Series, Vol. XXI. 

**Winfield's Land Titles. 

***Nelson's "Indians of New Jersey." 

***It is spelled several ways — Pembrepock, Pemerpogh, Pembrepogh, 
Pamrapaw, Pemmerapugh, Pamrapo are some of the ways. 

****New Jersey Historical Societj'. 

*****It is believed that Edsall hired some one to do this work, as he was 
a very busy man. He was a prominent member of the Court of Bergen 
from 1674 to 1682. 


About this time Edsall sold to Jan Van der Linden a piece 
of meadow lying between the Hook and Bergen Point, but it is 
not known whether he settled here. 

Edsall is credited with being the first settler of Bayonne by 
George Scott, in a brochure entitled "The Model of the Govern- 
ment of the Province of East Jersey in America," published in 
Edinburgh in 1685. Giving a description of the country in 1680, 
he says : — "To goe back to the South the part of Berghen Neck, 
that is opposite Statin Island, where is but a narrow passage of 
water, which ebbs and flows between the said Island and Berghen 
Point, called Constable's Hook. There is a considerable planta- 
tion on that side of Constable's Hook, extending in land alone a 
mile over, from the Bay on the east side of the neck that leads to 
New York, to that on the west that goes to Hackensack and 
Snake Hill ; the neck running up between both from the South to 
the North of Pludson River to the outmost extent of their bounds. 
There belongs to that plantation about 1,200 or 1,500 acres, and 
its well stockt and improved ; it was settled first by Samuel Edsall 
in Colonel Nichall's time, and by him sold 3 years ago (1682) for 
600 lib. There are other small Plantations along that neck to the 
east between it and a little village of twenty families called by the 
Indians 'Penelipe' (meaning 'Pembrepogh'), then further on to 
another cottage (the Currie Homestead). There are more 
where Lawrence the Draper lives, a Dutchman ;* there may be 
16 or 18 families. The greater part of the inhabitants which are 

*This was Lawreris Andriesen, the founder of the Van Buskirk family. 
He came from Holstein, Denmark, in the summer of 1655. After his emi- 
gration here, he took the surname of Van Buskirk, the "Van" signifying 
"from," and "Bos Kerck" meaning "church in the woods." In 1667 he 
purchased the tract of land previously granted to Claas Carstensen, the 
Norman, at Minkakwa, afterward called Greenville. He was prominent 
in Bergen public affairs, and was a member of the Court. He lived on the 
New York Bay Shore about where Linden Avenue now is. He died in 1694. 

B AYO N N E . 27 

in this Jurisdiction are Dutch, of which some have settled here 
ipwards of 40 years agoe." 

From Scott's description one would infer that in 1680 there 
were about forty families in Pamrapo and Greenville, but this 
?eems to be exaggerated, and twenty families would be nearer 
he truth.* Pembrepogh had now grown to be quite a settle- 
nent. These thrifty and pertinacious Dutchmen had already 
3pened up an extensive trade with the Indians. Money was 
ilmost unknown, the unit of value being a beaver skin, and the 
:urrency being provided by bits of clam and periwinkle shells 
:leftly cut and polished. They traded honorably and gave and 
received fair values. Yankee tricks were unknown to them. 
They were slow to form new acquaintances, but were firm in their 
friendship. On early mornings, probably once a week, it was a 
:ommon occurrence to see a group of Dutchmen with their sugar- 
loaf hats and leather breeches, together with their wives in their 
multiplied petticoats and other paraphernalia, entering skiffs on 
the New York Bay shore (near the "Bayswater") to convey them 
to New Amsterdam. There they would spend the day trading 
their fruit, vegetables, oysters and fish for clothing, beer, tools 
and the like, and gossiping with their friends. A road, or at least 
a path, led from this section over to Bergen Town, over which 
these settlers would travel occasionally for the same purpose that 
they went to New Amsterdam. Their homes were principally 
built of logs and stone, with mud filled in the cracks. They were 
a pretty good-natured lot, and so long as they had a fire to sit by, 
a pipe to smoke, a bed to sleep on and plenty of clams to eat, they 
were perfectly satisfied.. 

One of these Dutchmen was Joost Van der Linde (Van Der- 
linden), who owned property and lived in Pembrepogh in 1674. 

*Scott's brochure was merely a "puff." and is somewhat inaccurate. 
Edsall sold this property in 1694, instead of in 1682, as Scott states. 



Another of these pioneer settlers was A\'illiam Douglas (Doeck- 
less, Douckless), who lived at the same place about this time. He 
was elected to represent Bergen in the General x\ssembly of New 
Fersev in 1680, but was ruled out of that bodv because of his 

Onvm br E4vfa S. .Aleiaader. 

DCTCH OX Pembrepogh Shore. 

being a Roman Catiw^c Gerrit Gerritse (Garretson van Wag- 
cnen), an Associate Justice of the Court of Bergen, also lived in 
Femhrepo^ about fliis time (1681), with his family. On March 
17, 1696. Cornelius Jansen (Vreeland) purchased of William 
Douglas land at Pembrqx)gh, on which he afterwards lived- 

B A Y O X X E 

Other early settlers of Bergen. Pavonia, Pamrapo and Bergen 
N'eck were: — \'an \'oorst,, Tansen ( \'reeland) , Andriessen (^Van 
Buskirk), Tomassen (Van Riper), Comelissen (Van Horn), Van 
S'iewkircke (Xewkirk), Harmense. Claesen i GarrabrantV. Brinck- 
Drhoef (Brinkerhoft), Van Schuyler (Schuyler), Planck, Sip, 
Sautier, Deidrick (Cadmus). Jacobse (Van WinkleV 

The descendants of some of the above mentioned persons, no 
doubt, many readers know ; some can probably claim relation. A 
|:rreat majority of these settlers were emigrants from Holland or 
descendants of persons who had emigrated from that countn.- 
and settled on Manhattan Island, Long Island and Staten Island. 
The rest were English. Frencli, German and Scandana\-ian. 

The recapture of X'ew York by the Diitch in 1673, and the 
final surrender to the English the following year, affected this 
territory very little. 

At this time '"the law provided that whenever an estray (cat- 
tle, etc.) came upon one's premises, it was a duty to record a 
description of the same with the Town Clerk, to enable the owner 
to recover his propert}-." This law was obsen*ed for over one 
hundred years. Here are specimens of such recorded notices ; 
dates are missing: — 

"A stray Muel at the House of Garret Van Derhoof. Being 
a Dark Brown Couller Marked on the left shoulder with the Let- 
ters X. A." 

"A Red Bui! with a Wite Streck on the Buttok with no 
mark, at the House of Moses \'an Amen at Bergen Point. The 
Creator will be two years old this Spring." 

An entry from a fragment of the old town book of Bergen : — 

"Pieter Boskerck S}ti merk Een half maentie onder uyt het 
slinken oor." 

About this time a charter was granted to the town of Bergen. 
The charter granted that the "keeping of a Free School for the 



Education of Youth," and "that in Religious Concerns and the 
way of Worshipping God, there is liberty of conscience Granted 
to all Persons in Generall." 

The following agreement, made in 1682, will give the reader 
an idea of the manner of education offered in those days : — 

"Agreed with Mrs. Baker that she shall learne my daughter 
Ellinor to read and sew, and make all manner of needle worke, 
for one whole yeare from the day of the date hereof, being the 
12th day of November, 1682, and in the meane while the s'd Mrs. 
Baker, during the said terme, shall not put her, my s'd daughter, 
to any manner of house worke, but to keepe her to her needle 
worke, and for true performance hereof I am to give the s'd Mrs. 
Baker a heaffer of her first calfe, at the time of the Expiration." 

Few incidents appear in the history of this section of impor- 
tance betvv^een this period and the Revolutionary War, a whole 
century. Charles Winfield describes the people as "quiet, domes- 
tic, unambitious, passing along through life adhering to truth, 
honesty and fair dealing, cultivating their farms and rearing their 
families in the fear of God and the doctrines of the old church 
of their Fathers." 

The following advertisement appeared in the "Weekly Jour- 
nal" in January, 1735.: — 

"Teetli drawn and old broken taken out very safely 
and with much ease, by James Mills, who was instructed in that 
art by the late James Reading, deceased, so fam'd for drawing of 
teeth. He is to be spoke with at his shop in the house of the De- 
cesed near the Old Slip Market" (New York). 

This William Mills was considered the most skillful dentist 
in these parts, and was patronized frequently by inhabitants of 
Bergen Neck. 



Whites. Slaves and Other Negroes. 

klales, above 16 939 Males, above 16 256 

"emales, above 16 822 Females, above 16 203 

ilales, under 16 820 Males, under 16 187 

females, under 16 708 Females, under 16 160 

7otal whites 3,289 Total slaves 806 

Total population, 4,095.** 

*Gordon's Gazeteer and History of New Jersey. 

**One hundred and thirty-five years later, Bayonne's population ex- 
eeded this. 



Constable's Hook. 

Early Property Owners — Van Biiskirk Homestead — First Bank of 
Constable's Hook — First Cemetery Laid Out — Tombstone Inscriptions; 
Names and Dates — Slaves Bought and Sold — Newspaper Extracts — Early 
Real Estate Speculation — Captain Kidd's Hill and Buried Treasures. 

It appears that Samuel Edsall, who settled at Constable's 
Hook about 1670 (see page — ), had a neighbor on the Hook a 
few years later, who rented part of his property. In 1681 Hans 
Harmense came from New Utrecht, L. I., to Constable's Hook, 
with his wife, Willemtie Waernaers, widow of Hasmen of Bercke- 
loo, and her children, Jannetie, Reymis, Harmen, Jan and William, 
besides two children by this marriage, Tryntie (aged nine) and 
Annetie (aged seven).* He erected a house, the location of which 
is not certain, but in all probabilities it stood close to the Kills. 

In searching through the genealogies of some of the early 
families, the author finds that Arie, a son of Symon Jacobse (Van 
Winkle, who came from Aliddleburgh, Zealand), was born at 
Constable's Hook about 1691. This would indicate that this 
family also lived at the Hook about this time, and were neighbors 
of the Harmense family, 

Hans Harmense was elected to the Assembly in 1692. On 

*New Jersey Historical Society. 

B A Y O N N E . 


February 20, 1695-6,* he purchased from Edsall (who had re- 
moved from Constable's Hook about 1690) nearly five hundred 
acres of land at Constable's Hook, for £562.10.** 

His daughter, Tryntie, was married to Pieter Van Boskerck, 
son of Laurens Andriessen Van Boskerck (founder of the Van 
Buskirk family who lived on the New York Bay shore near 
present Greenville station). After the marriage, it is supposed 
that Pieter built the old stone house that still stands on the south- 
ern slope of Van Buskirk's Point, Constable's Hook, and lived 
there with his wife. On May 24, 1694, Annetie^ another daugh- 
ter of Hans Harmense, was married to Claas Hartman. She died 
November 26, 1698, leaving one child, Hartman. Hans Har- 
mense died in 1700. One-half of the Hook he willed to his 
daughter Tryntie and the other half became the property of 
A.nnetie's son.*** 

In October, 1736, Pieter's wife died and he buried her in the 
^•ard at the rear of the house.**** Through her, he inherited one- 
half of the Hook, and the other half he purchased. He died in 
July, 1738, and was buried beside his wife. 

The old brown tombstones still stand ; the following illus- 
tration shows them with their inscriptions as they look at the 
present time. 

The house that Peter is said to have erected was originally 
Duilt previous to 1700, but additions have since been made to the 
main building. It is the oldest building now standing in Bay- 
Dnne, if not in eastern New Jersey. In the old Dutch style, its 
mtiquated architecture is noticeable. A solid foundation of stone 
masonry rises about five feet above the ground, on which rests a 
frame and brick superstructure with massive joists and timbers 

*New Jersey Archives. First Series, Vol. XXI. 
**Winfield's Land Titles. 
***Nc\v Jersey Historical Societ}'. 
****Afterward converted into a cemetery. 



and antique siding of shingles in regular old Dutch colony style. 
A quaint old fireplace and high mantel, with curious carvings and 
fancy tile decorations (since removed), alongside of which is an 
old Spanish closet, have all been features of interest in the interior 

'years iJ*^ 

r of Tb^^^ 
Jl.n .^ I e « ci II cJ c r . 

J. f V /i k 

Drawn by Kilwio H. Alexander. 

The Graves of Pioxeer vSettlers. 

of this old homestead. A secret underground closet is located in 
a north room of the house. This was used to conceal persons 
and effects whenever inquisitive visitors approached the place. 
British troops were quartered in this house during the Revolution. 
In the little school-room, children were taught their lessons, and 


many an unruly boy has jumped out of the window and fled across 
the graveyard.* 

The old garden adjoined the house on the east. At the time 
of the Revokition a hardy Box of considerable size grew in front 
of the house.** There is a story that Mrs. Jonathan Van Bus- 
kirk buried a pot of gold under its branches to prevent its falling 
into the hands of unexpected visitors in the way of marauding 
parties. This lay concealed so long that the lady quite forgot 
the exact amount thus deposited in this, the First Bank of Con- 
stable's Hook. Years afterwards, in spading up the garden, a 
negro brought to the surface a number of golden guineas which 
had been overlooked when the business of the bank was closed.*** 

The old dilapidated shed now adjoining the southwest end of 
the house stood on the shore at that time. This building, it is 
said, was used for the purpose of selling slaves, who were brought 
over in ships which anchored off the mouth of the Kills. The 
writer cannot vouch for this statement, but at any rate slaves were 
bought and sold nearby. In the "Post Boy" of August 8, 1757, 
appeared the following advertisement : — 

"To Be Sold." 
At Van Buskirk's, at Kil Van Kull, a Parcel of likely Negro 
Slaves, Men, Women, Boys and Girls, just arrived from Guinea 
in the Sloop "Williams," David Griffiths, Commander, Apply to 
Rice Williams or the said David Griffiths." 

The quaint old colony graveyard in the rear of the house was 
laid out by Peiter's relatives. Here, some of the pioneer settlers 
were buried. It was a beautiful little spot in those days, with its 

*The Standard Oil Company are now the owners of Van Buskirk's 
Point. Since writing the above, the old historic homestead has been torn 
down to make way for immense oil tanks. 

**This and another close by grew to be immense trees some five feet 
in diameter, and remained there until blown down a few years ago. 

*'^*This story appeared in the "Mudosn County Times" of June 13, 1873. 









green grass and flowers and shady trees. It is now in a dilapi- 
dated condition. Some of the old tombstones still stand, and the 
wording is readable ; others have been blown down by the storms 
and are covered with sandy soil. In this cemetery are the ances- 
tors of the Van Buskirks, Latourettes, Vreelands, Garrabrants, 
Zabriskies, La Granges, Cadmuses and others. 

Following are the inscriptions on the stones over the re- 
mains of some of the very early inhabitants : — 

Here lies the Body 
of Johannas La Grange 

who deceased May 

the 6th A. D. 1748 

In the 84th Year of his 


Here Lies ye Body of 

Melye, wife of John 

Lagrange who Died 

February ye (?*) 1754 

Aged about 40 years. 


the Memory of 

William Brambos 


died the i8th of March 


Aged 66 Years 6 Months 

& 8 Days. 

*Date invisible. 



once located on the shores of the Kills, and the stockholders of 
the company were confident of pocketing fabulous dividends. 
Large sums of money were expended, but after a brief period the 
company found their property mortgaged for near $400,000 and 
all improvements stopped. Litigation followed, and in the end 
the property was sold for only $70,000 to satisfy the creditors."* 

A sea wall of masonry and its accompanying levee extended 
from the old copper works as far as "Captain Kidd's Hill." A 
dangerous place, known as "The False Kill," was then removed. 
The construction of this sea wall stopped the overflow of the 
meadows at high tide. 

Captain Kidd's Hill was named after the celebrated pirate, 
Captain Kidd. Stories of hidden treasures buried in the hill have 
been told. In fact, "pots of gold have often been earnestly sought 
after," and during the construction of the sea wall were reported 
as found. *'^' 

*Quoted from the "Hudson County Times" of June 20, 1873. 

**The author has his doubts as to any truth in this tale, which years 
ago was repeatedly recited to groups of wondering children by some loqua- 
cious darkey. 



1776 — 1782. 

Bergen Neck During the Revolution — Troops Stationed and Fort De- 
lancey Erected — Trouble With Tories — Skirmishes Between American and 
British Troops — Unlawfulness and Murders — Ward's Band — Attacks 
Upon — Newspaper Extracts — Fort Delancey Evacuated. 

Bergen Neck was important territory during the Revolu- 
tionary War. In the spring of 1776 it was learned that the 
British were preparing to sail for New York. Lord Sterling, in 
command of the American forces at Bergen, undertook the de- 
fense of Bergen and Bergen Neck. He personally examined the 
ground at Bergen Neck and Paulus Hoeck on March 23, and 
after a short period works were erected at these places, those on 
Bergen Neck to prevent invasion from Staten Island. Here 
Colonel Ford, with a force of about three hundred men, was 

The following order, given in the spring of 1776, is proof 
that at this time Bergen Point was occupied by portions of the 
Continental Army : — 

"Whereas the Asia having quitted her station, and left the 
harbour, the navigation between this city and New Jersey, by the 
Kills, is become quite safe ; the troops upon Staten Island and 


Bergen Neck, are to let all boats coming to New York, or return- 
ing to Jersey, to pass and re-pass without molestation. Given at 
Head-Quarters in New York, 14th of April, 1776. 


"Adjutant General." 

— New York "Gazette and Weekly Mercury," April 15, 

The British fleet in command of General Howe arrived and 
cast anchor olif the mouth of the Kill von Kull late in June, and 
the troops landed on Staten Island. Shortly after their arrival 
they placed a small guard with two six-pounders on Van Bus- 
kirk's Point. This was the first landing-place of the British forces 
in New Jersey. Troops were quartered in and arovmd the Van 
Buskirk homestead, where plans of attack were made. Great ex- 
citement was manifest along the Neck. The Tories hastened to 
take sides with their King, while others did not dare to make 
known for which side they stood, in fear of being murdered.** 

Precautionary measures were being taken by the American 
♦roops at this time. General Mercer was ordered on July 4 to 
place a guard of five hundred men at Bergen Neck, to reinforce 
the troops there. This post, afterward known as Fort Delancey, 
was sistuated on a high piece of property between what is now 
Fifty-first and Fifty-second Streets, about one hundred feet east 
of the Speedway, and adjoining the property in rear of 99 West 
Fifty-first Street. 

When Mercer arrived, he found that Ford's force was not 
sufficient, consequently the Pennsylvania militia and more Jersey 
troops were sent to reinforce these men. General Mercer also 
learned that many families at the Point and Hook were in con- 

*Mew Jersey Archives. Second Series, Vol. I. 

**There were only fourteen families in the entire length of Bergen 
Neck who were pronounced patriots. 

B A Y O N N E . 43 

stnnt commimication with the British force on Staten Island and 
with their ships at the mouth of the Kill. 

In a sworn statement filed at Albany, dated June 29, 1776, 
there appears : — "There is one Peter Van Buskirk Living at or 
near the hook or mouth of the Kills in Bargain County who its 
frequently said has followed trading with the men of war, who 
. . . . Carrys people on Board when Ever Requested, and 
has a sufficient Craft for that purpose." 

This was Peter Van Buskirk. who with his brother Johannis 
(sons of Andries Van Buskirk of Hook), were suspected of hold- 
ing intercourse with the enemy. They were tried and acquitted 
in July, 1776. 

General Mercer planned to attack the enemy on Staten Island 
on the night of July 18. Plan of attack was as follows: — 

'■'Sixth. A party to attempt to surprise the enemy's guard 
on Buskirk's Point, which is on the southeast corner of Bergen 
Point ; this party, or guard, does not seem to be large, but it is 
said they are possessed of two six-pounders. The party that 
makes the attack must not attempt to go over the causeway or 
road over the meadow, the cannon being in all probability ap- 
pointed to command that pass, but should be provided with some 
boards, and proceed in two or three columns over the meadow, 
where they will meet with no other obstruction than a small creek 
or ditch, which they will easily pass with the help of the boards. 
If this place is carried, a cannonade and bombardment should, as 
soon as possible, commence on the ships, a great number of which 
now lie within reach of the place. A cannonade should also com- 
mence on Bergen Point, opposite the church and Decker's, where 
it is said about six hundred men are posted ; this cannonade, \\ith 
round and grape shot, would confuse the troops in forming, and 
prevent their succoring the guard at Elizabethtown Point, or 
:)pposing our party who make their descent near Shutter's 


Island. The cannonade should also be kept up on such parts of 
the shore of Staten Island where any boats are collected or may 
assemble. The party for these several matters on Bergen Neck 
should be about seven hundred men, besides the riflemen."* 

This attack was not made, however, for on that evening the 
weather was very stormy and prevented his forces from crossing 
the Kill von Kull. 

Although other attacks were planned by the militia, none were 
m.ade. However, the American troops stationed at Bergen Point 
practiced occasionally on the enemy's fleet, as well as their camp 
on Staten Island. 

The following accounts appeared : — 

"New York, July 22, 1776. Yesterday several Discharges of 
Cannon and Musketry was heard in this City, and by the Appear- 
ance of a Cloud of Smoak over Bergen Point, it is imagined our 
People on the Jersey Shore have had a Skirmish with the Enemy, 
from Staten Island." 

"New York, July 25th. 

"Our troops stationed on Bergen Point give the Ministerial 
fleet and army some uneasiness, by firing at the tender, boats, etc. 
It so galls and provokes them, that they return the fire with great 
fury, but have not done the least damage to our people. Last 
Lord's Day a great many shots were heard in this city and Bergen 
Point. The occasion was this : A barge from the fleet, full of 
men, landed on the Point,** but were opposed and driven off with 
precipitation by our troops ; a smart fire ensued from a tender 
for a considerable time, without doing any injury."*** 

In the "Pennsylvania Evening Post" of October i appears 
this : — 

*American Archives. Fifth Series. 
**Aboiit Hobart Avenue. 
***Ibid. Fifth Series. 

B A Y O N N E . 



". . . the same day (Wednesday last) there was a smart 
firing from Bergen point at two tenders, a sloop and a schooner 
that lay near Shutter's Island, at the mouth of Newark Bay." 

Bergen Neck was evacuated by the American troops in Octo- 
ber, 1776, shortly after the capture of New York by the British. 

A letter written on October 4 says : — "To-morrow we evacu- 
ate Bergen. . . . Bergen is the narrow neck of land accessible 
on three sides by water, and exposed to a variety of attacks in 
different places at one and the same time. A large body of the 
enemy might infallibl}^ take possession of the place whenever they 
pleased, unless we kept a stronger force than our number will 
allow. The spot is not an object of our arms; if they attack, it 
v/ould but cut off those who defended it and secure the grain and 
military stores. These have been removed, and when we are gone, 
a naked spot is all they will find."* 

In April, 1777, Colonel Abraham Van Buskirk was in com- 
mand of the British forces at Bergen Point. 

The following incident, which occurred a few months later, 
appeared in a Tory newspaper ; — 

"Last Friday Night a Party of Rebels, consisting of some 
Officers and twelve A/[en, proceeding on an Enterprize to seize 
the Person of Wm. Van Buskirk, at Bergen Point, were inter- 
cepted on their Return through the vigilance of Col. Turnbull, 
Commander at Powles Hook, whose Men fired upon them, and 
Mr. Livingston, said to be a junior Brother of Col. Livingston, 
who was taken at Fort Montgomery, was killed on the spot, and 
another Person, named Van Dolsan, taken Prisoner, who was 
brought to Town the next Day, and safely lodged in the Provost. 

"The above Gentry plundered several Houses in and about 
Pemerapough particularly Barent Van Home, Mr. Vreeland, Mr. 

*American Archives. Fifth Series. 


an Wagenen, and Walter Clanderon^ and in the House last men- 
Dned Mr. Livingston received his Wound." 

— New York "Gazette and Weekly Mercury," December 8, 

In this year the British forces occupied the works at Bergen 
eck, which they called Fort Delancey in honor of Oliver De- 
ncey, the great Tory of Westchester.* This was garrisoned 
rincipally by Tories or "refugees," as they called themselves, 
ho spent more time plundering and murdering their old neigh- 
3rs, than in honorable warfare. 

The following item goes to show that the whole district was 
v^errun with spies and marauding parties, both of the British 
id militia : — 

"Last Wednesday, Jan. 13th, a Mr. Allen, ensign in the Rebel 
-my, with three Jersey Militiamen, were apprehended on Bergen 
oint by a party from Captain Anstrulher's company of the 26th 

— "Rivington's Gazette," January 20, 1779. 

In the winter of 1779-80 when fuel was very scarce in New 
ork, Bergen Neck was covered with fine timber valued at £11 
er acre. Consequently the Tories cut the timber and sold it to 
le British in New York. Winfield says : — "To make it safe for 
lem to enter upon their business, it was necessary to have re- 
oubts, breastworks, or block houses into which they could re- 
re at night and to which they might fly in case of attack by 
ay." They occupied Fort Delancey with Captain Tom Ward 
1 command. Ward was a notoriously vicious character, and his 
and were the worst types of desperadoes and runaway slaves, 
nd were greatly feared by the inhabitants. The character of 
V^ard can be understood from the fact that on one occasion, on 

*Winfi?ld's History of Hudson County. 


becoming involved in a financial difficulty with a neighboring 
farmer, he paid three of his negroes to murder him, which the) 
did with terrible cruelty. 

This whole territory was overrun with these notorious char- 
acters and was the scene of murders, robberies and all kinds oi 
outrageous acts. Farm houses were -looted and several were de- 
stroyed by fire. The old Close homestead on Twentieth Street wa; 
one of several houses that figured conspicuously during the war 
It was "marked" to be burned, but somehow escaped destruction 

Constable's Hook was an important place at this time, anc 
was also the center for numerous executions both lawkil and un- 
lawful. In 1779 Thomas Long, a New Jersey Tory, was hung 
on a persimmon tree near the old tide mill at this place. Stepher 
Ball, of Rah way, was falsely accused by Hatfield's party (alsc 
Tories with bad reputations) as being a spy, and was executed 
or rather murdered, by them on Bird's Point, Constable's Hook 
January 25, 1781. 

Ward's plunderers, thieving and raiding by night at Berger 
Point, Pembrepogh, Elizabetbtown, Newark and along Berger 
liill, kept the people terror-stricken. 

Pembrepogh was the scene of numerous skirmishes betweer 
his band and the militia. In October, 1780, a small battle toot 
place here. About one hundred and fifty American troops cam( 
over the King's Highway along Newark Bay to attack and cap- 
ture Ward, if possible. They were discovered approaching 
through the woods, and were immediately fired upon by the occu- 
pants of the fort. A company of British in small boats anchorec 
in Newark Bay, hearing the firing, started a cannonade. Fear- 
ing an attack from that direction by an overwhelming number, th( 
militia retreated, doing little damage to the refugee post. 

A Tory account of the aft'air was described as follows in th( 
New York "Gazette and Weekly Messenger," October 16: — 


"On Saturday morning last the Refugee Post at Bergen 
'oint under command of Captain Thomas Ward, was attacked 
ly a party of rebel infantry and horse consisting of about 200 
len. After receiving a smart fire from the artillery and mus- 
:etry of the Refugees, assisted by a cannonade from the gallies* 
hey were forced to retreat." 

An extract from the New York "Packet," August 30, 1781 : — 
Last Friday night a party went from Newark and captured two 
loops lying near the Refugee Post on Bergen shore, out of which 
hey took 8 prisoners, who were sent to Morristown." 

The "New Jersey Journal" of September 5, 1781, says: — 
Last Wednesday night a party of Ward's plunderers from Ber- 
;^en Neck, came to the neighborhood of Hackensack, where they 
;ollected a number of cattle which the inhabitants retook and 
:illed and wounded several of the miscreants." 

A few months later, after one of the raids, the following news 
tern appeared in the "New Jersey Journal" under date of De- 
ember 12, 1 781 : — "Last Thursday sennight Captain Baker Hen- 
iricks, with a party of men in whale boats went down Newark 
Bay near the Kills, where he boarded and stripped two wood boats 
md took one prisoner, and on Thursday night last, he landed a 
;mall party of men at Bergen Neck, near the Refugees Post,** 
vhere he took two prisoners ; and on his return took three noted 

In the same paper on February 13, 1782, there also ap- 
peared : — "Last Thursday morning a detachment of the Jersey 
Brigade, under Capt. Bowmay, who were joined by a party of 
nilitia, went across the vSound (meaning Newark Bay) on the ice 
:o the Refugees Post on Bergen Neck, where they captured three 

*The British gallies patroled Newark Bay to protect Bergen Neck. 
**Foot of West Fifty-sixth Street was a favorite landing place. 



of the miscreants, one of whom was of a sable hue ; they bayon- 
ctted the negro, who refused to surrender. No artifice could in- 

Drawn by Edwin H. Alexaoder. 

Fort Dei^ancey. 

BAYO N N E . 51 

luce them to sally out, therefore no. other trophies were obtained 
:han those above mentioned." 

A Tory account of the same occurrence follows : — 
"On Thursday morning before sunrise, two hundred Rebels 
"rom a New Jersey Brigade, attacked Fort De Lancey, commanded 
)y Major Ward. They had meditated the attack for some time 
md lay for two nights upon their arms. The advanced sentinel, 
I negro, was bayonetted. They were driven off. They then 
:ormed in three columns on the ice, were again attacked and 

— New York "Mercury," February 11, 1782, 

On the night of March 29, 1782, still another fight took place. 
50me Newark militia in whale boats landed at about where Fifty- 
ourth Street now is. Here they captured seven prisoners who 
odged in houses along the shore. A party was sent out from 
S^ort Delancey to intercept them, and was fired upon. On their 
•eturning the fire they killed and wounded four of their own men 
vho were prisoners, besides two or three of the militia, who made 
heir escape over the darkened waters.* 

Fort Delancey was evacuated and burned by the Refugees 
hemselves in September, 1782, and the following month Ward 
md his despised followers embarked for Nova Scotia. 

The ruins of this old fort remained comparatively a long 
:ime, but now there is nothing left to indicate that a fortification 
)f any kind stood on this site. Recently a rusty cannon ball was 
inearthed from under an old tree in front of No. 90 West Firty- 
;econd Street. Besides this, an old bayonet and portion of a cap 
vere dug up on the neighboring property. No doubt the property 
n this locality and that running toward Newark Bay contains 
•imilar relics buried under a few feet of soil. 

*Rivington Gazette No. 573. 



1782— 1830. 

Peace— Washington Greeted by the Inhabitants on His Way to New 
York— Slavery Declared— Immigration and Education— War of 1812— First 
Manufacturing Concern at Constable's Hook— Extreme Cold— Humor of 

This section played no other important part during the Revo- 

In April, 1789, when George Washington journeyed to New 
York on the occasion of his inauguration as first President of the 
United States, his route led him through New Jersey to Elizabeth- 
town Point (Elizabethport), and thence through the Kill von Kull 
and New York Bay to New York. 

The local inhabitants and those in Bergen began to arrive on 
the Bergen Point shore early in the day, so as not to miss the 
opportunity of seeing their beloved leader and cheer him on his 

Daniel Van Winkle, in his history of "Old Bergen," de- 
scribes the occasion thus : — "His (Washington's) whole journey 
w^as in the nature of a triumphal procession, but nowhere was his 
reception more enthusiastic or his greetings more sincere than 
on his passage from the Point through the Kills. He embarked 
in a barge, splendidly decorated, and conveyed by others, with 
flags and music. As he entered the Kills, between Staten Island 
and Bergen Point, the procession was met by other boats from the 
shores, gay with bunting. From the shores of Bergen Point, 
which were lined with the citizens of 'Old Bergen,' he was greeted 
with the booming of cannon, waving of flags and loud huzzas of 
the people. Their joy knew no bounds, and until the procession 
receded in the distance, their applause and rejoicing continued." 


The following act was published by G. Craft at Trenton in 
1798, and throws some light on the great question which in after 
years the people of this country had to confront. It begins : — 

"Slavery Declared." 
"An Act, respecting Slaves. 

"Be it enacted by the Council and General Assembly of this 
State, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That 
every negro, Indian, mulatto or mestee, within this state, who, at 
the time of passing this act, is a slave for his or her life, shall 
continue such during his or her life, unless he or she shall be manu- 
mited and set free in the manner prescribed by law. 
"Passed at Trenton, March 14, 1798." 

It was not long after peace had been declared that home- 
seekers from different parts of the State began to arrive, and 
farms gradually increased in number. Grounds were cleared of 
timber, fields were cultivated and a thriving section soon de- 

The wise old Dutchmen and Englishmen were not slow in 
realizing the necessity of educating their children. Those located 
near Bergen Town marched their children off to the rude school 
there, and those in Pembrepogh and along Bergen Neck taught 
their children the best they knew how at home. 

The following examples are specimens of those used in the 
instruction of that day : — • 

"A gentleman a chaise did buy, 
A horse and harness too ; 
They cost the sum of threescore pounds, 

Upon my word 'tis true. 
The harness came to half of th' horse. 

The horse twice of the chaise ; 
And if you find the price of them, 
Take them and go your ways." 
"Answer: — Chaise, 15I. ; Horse, 30I. ; Harness, 15I." 


"Seven gentlemen who were traveling, met together by 
chance, at a certain inn upon the road, where they were so well 
pleased with their host, and each other's company, that in a frolic 
they offered him 30I. to stay at that place so long as they, together 
with him, could sit every day at dinner in a different order. The 
host thinking that they could not sit in many different positions, 
because there were but few of them, and that himself would 
make no considerable alteration ; he being but one, imagined that 
he should make a good bargain, and readily, for the sake of a 
good dinner, and better company, entered into an agreement with 
them and so made himself the eighth person. I demand how long 
they staid at the inn, and how many different positions they sat 
in? Answer: — The number of positions were 40,320 and the 
time they staid was no years, 142 J/^ days; allowing the year to 
consist of 365 days, 6 hours." 

"A Grocer's Bill. 
"Bought of Thomas Hartley, May 19, 181 1. 

s. d. I. s. d. 

3 lb. of Raisins of the Sun at o 5 per lb. 34 

IS lb. of Malaga Raisins at o 4V2 " 057^ 

10 lb. of Currants at o 6j4 " 055 

11 lb. of Sugar at o 4?/^ " o 411^ 

2 Sugar Loaves, wt. 15 lb at o 9 " 11 3 

13 lb. of Rice at 3 " 033 

5 lb. of Black Pepper at: 6 " 076 

10 oz. of Cloves at o 10 per oz. o 84 

The War of 1812 did not disturb the inhabitants, although 
much excitement was shown. At this time the Hazard Powder 
house* was located at Constable's Hook on Kill von Kull, and 
was the first manufacturing concern in this locality. It sup- 

*In after years part of this building was used for prize-fights, dog 
fights, etc. ; only a few years ago it was torn down. 


plied great quantities of gunpowder to ships, as well as Fort Jay 
on Governor's Island and forts on Ellis' and Bedloe's Islands. 

Slaves were made free by a law in 1820, but most of those 
who were formerly slaves in these parts remained with their 
owners, to work for a living. 

There was an extreme cold wave in January, 1821 ; New 
York* and Newark Bays were frozen solid. Many persons 
crossed the ice from New York, and a half way house was erected 
for the accommodation of travelers crossing the ice, according to 
Shaw's "History of Hudson County." 

In looking through the New Jersey Almanac, printed in 
Elizabethtown in 1826, the author finds the following: — "How to 
destroy Flies — A Frenchman who sold powder for killing flies, 
gives the following recipe : 'Catch de fly and tickle him under de 
troat, and when he opens his mout to laugh, trow in de powdre 
and it will choke him." 

*New York Bav, previous to this time, was called Oyster Bay, named 
so because of its abundant supply of oysters in colonial days. 



1830— 1857. 

Description in 1830 — Pursuits — Cholera — Boundary Line in New York 
Bay — Morris Canal Through — Hudson County Erected — New Cemetary — 
Town Officials Chosen in 1855. 

At this time farms were established and flourishing. A 
fringe of farmhouses ran along the shore and a few along the 
middle road. Constable's Hook was Van Buskirk property, and 
several farms were situated there. Terhune's grist mill was 
situated at the Hook. Here the farmers in the neighboring coun- 
try took their grain to be ground. Frank Miller kept a store at 
Bergen Point (now Avenue C and First Street). His building 
was just east of the Latourette House. He kept groceries, to- 
baccOj etc. In the rear of his property, Berger, a Frenchman, 
kept a cider press. Children on their way to school would stop 
here and suck cider through a straw to their full capacity. An 
apple orchard stood on both sides of the road at that time. Hart- 
man Vreeland's tavern was situated at about Forty-ninth Street. 
There was no postoffice. The inhabitants had to go or send to 
Jersey City for their mail. Abraham Van Buskirk and Colonel 
Cadmus each kept a few slaves, and John Van Buskirk, of the 
Hook, kept about a dozen. In these days, the inhabitants gos- 
siped about local affairs principally, for outside news was scarce. 
When some one had been "in town" and returned with a New 
York "Evening Post," that person was usually surrounded by a 
group, eagerly listening as the news was read aloud. Worship 


vas held every Sabbath in the "new" Bergen Neck Reformed 
"hurch on the Bergen Point Road, where the folks went "to hear 
Minister Boyce preach." 

Hon. Anthony H. Ryder describes the inhabitants in Shaw's 
H[istory of Hudson County as follows : — "The current of life ran 
:venly at the fireside. There sat the venerable Bergener, silently 
Duffing his pipe, looking into the fire with half-shut eyes, medi- 
;ating for hours together ; the good Vrouw, on the opposite side, 
vould employ the time in spinning yarn or knitting stockings. 
In their quiet way, the inhabitants are said to have fol- 
owed their callings, principally agriculture. Shad fisheries and 
:he oyster groimds furnished fields for busy enterprise and a 
)rofitable employment."* 

They enjoyed life, too. Currie's Woods was the objective 
)oint for picnics, and the good, old-fashioned Dutch descendants, 
kvith their families, would participate in a day's rolicking. The 
boys, upon growing up, would be sent out to learn a trade, but 
evidently it was a hard matter in those days to keep an apprentice 
:o his work. Whether it was because of hard masters, or stubborn 
dispositions on the part of the boys, it is difficult to say. The fol- 
owing advertisement appeared in the Newark "Daily Advertiser," 
Tuesday, February 28, 1837: — 

"One Cent Reward. 

"Ran away from the subscriber on or about the middle of 
.August last an indented apprentice to the Harness, Collar and 
Whip making business, named Joseph Smith. Said apprentice is 
about 4 ft. 5 or 6 inches high, dark hair and eyes, aged about 14 
years. Whoever will return said apprentice shall receive the 
above reward but no charges. 

"Shugard & Macknet." 

*See Chapters 19 and 20 for early religious affairs and travel. 


Another one that was published about the same time reads : — 
"One Cent Reward. 

Ran away on the 21st inst. from the employment of the Sub- 
scribers an Indented Apprentice to the Sash and Blind making 
Business, named Wm. A. Perry. Said boy is about 5 feet 4 inches 
high, rather slim built, is fond of Rum, and too lazy to work. All 
persons are forbid to harbor or trust said boy, under the penalty 
of the law. 

"Merchant & Roff." 

Cholera visited this section during the years 1830 and 1832, 
resulting in numerous deaths. 

By an act of Congress, approved June 28, 1834, the boundary 
line between New Jersey and New York was finally settled. This 
gave New York exclusive control over the waters of New York 
Bay, Bedloe and Ellis' Islands, and the waters of Kill von Kull, 
between Staten Island and New Jersey, while to New Jersey was 
given the ownership of land under the waters west of the middle 
of the bay and Hudson River. 

In Gordon's Gazetteer of New Jersey appears the following 
short description in 1834: — 

"Pamrepau, small scattering settlement, in Bergen t-ship, 
Bergen Co., on New York bay, about 5 miles below Jersey City, 
occupied by descendants of the original Dutch settlers." 

In 1835, John Carragan, who conducted a little school at the 
junction of what is now Avenue D and Twenty-fourth Street, 
started a store in the rear of A. Dege's present store on Avenue D 
near Twenty-second Street. This was among the first, if not the 
first, general shop in Bayonne, and was patronized quite freely. 

In 1836, the Morris Canal, bounding Bayonne on the north, 
was put through. 

At this time Bergen County extended as far south as Con- 
stable's Hook. In 1840, by legislative enactment, part of Bergen 


County, including the Bergen Neck, was changed and erected 
into County of Hudson, so named in commemoration of Henry 

In 1849, the dreaded cholera again broke out and was not 
checked until numerous deaths Iiad resulted from it. In conse- 
quence, "Cobby" James Van Buskirk, of the Hook, laid out the 
new burial grounds on Constable's Hook, East Twenty-second 
Street and Avenue I. 

At the annual town meeting in the spring of 1855, it was de- 
cided to hold the spring and fall elections at Egbert Wauters' 
hotel on the Plank Road, to elect three constables, and to raise 
$3,300 for support of schools, $500 for repairs to roads, and $300 
for the poor. James H. Farrant, George Anderson and Aaron 
Y. P. Jones were elected as Town constables. Other officials 
chosen that spring were : — Chosen Freeholders, Mindert Van 
Horn, Jacob A. Van Horn ; Superintendent of Schools, John 
Welsh ; Commissioners of Appeal, Hartman Van Wagenen, Will- 
iam Stringham, Edmund C. Bramhall ; Assessor, James W. 
Welsh ; Town Clerk, Abraham P. Newkirk ; Judge of Election, 
James M. Jones ; Justice of the Peace, Francis P. Miller ; Sur- 
veyors of Highways, Richard Vreeland, Daniel Van Winkle ; 
Collector, Henry R. Welsh ; Pound-Keepers, George Anderson, 
John V. H. Clendenny, James H. Farrant ; Overseers of the Poor, 
James J, Van Boskirk, Abraham Speer ; Overseers of Highways, 
Abraham P. Vreeland, James J. Van Boskirk, Henry Brinker- 
hoff , Henry G. Van Reypen, Hartman Van Wagenen ; Town Com- 
mittee, Andrew P. Simonson, John Brinkerhoff, Garret Van Horn, 
Henry Newkirk, Winfield Stringham, Daniel Vreeland, John 
Mandeville, Peter Rowe, Garret G. Newkirk, William Stringham, 
Nicholas S. Vreeland, Peter Jones ; Game-Keepers, Benjamin 
Hueston, John Wauters, Michael J. Vreeland.* 

'Shaw's History of Hudson County. 



1857— 1860. 

Act to Lay Out Streets — School Improvements — Bayonne Set Off as a 
Township — Origin of Name — Township Government — General Description. 

We next come to a period of great importance in the erec- 
tion of what is now Bayonne City. 

An act had been passed by the Legislature, and approved 
March 16, 1857, "authorizing the appointment of commissioners 
to lay out and map streets, avenues and squares in that part of 
Bergen Township south of the Morris Canal in Hudson County," 
and the Commissioners thus appointed were Andrew D. Mellick, 
Jacob A. Van Horn, Jacob M. Vreeland, Hartman Vreeland and 
Egbert Wauters, who were required to compkte their work 
within two years from the passage of the act. By a supplement 
to this act, approved April 7, 1868, Hiram Van Buskirk, Solon 
Humphreys, Henry Meigs, Jr., John Combes and Erastus Ran- 
dall were appointed Commissioners, and their powers were pre- 
scribed "to cease on the first day of May, eighteen hundred and 

On May 25, 1857, a plot of ground fronting on Dodge and 
Fifth Streets, containing about 13^ city lots, was procured from 
Rosewell Graves for the site of a school house, and a Building 
Committee, duly appointed, was directed to build and furnish a 
district school house thereon, the cost of which, including the lots, 
was not to exceed three thousand dollars. By the report of the 

BAYO N N E . 6i 

rreasurer of the Board of School Trustees, dated March 4, i860, 
t was shown that the new building and furniture for District 
school No. 5 cost $2,190.86, and 13% lots of ground occupied, 
1831.50; total cost, $3,025.36.* 

This building for many years was known as the First Ward 
chool house and is now located on Dodge Street in rear of No. 4 
irick school, near its old site. About one hundred scholars at- 
ended, and there were two teachers. It was used for a time as 
. police station for the Fourth Ward, and later converted into a 
[welling house. 

On March 15, 1861, by an act of Legislature, the Township 
if Bayonne was set off from the town of Bergen. The same year, 
Ubert M. Zabriskie was appointed the first Chosen Freeholder of 

There has been some doubt as to the signification of the word 
laming the locality. It may have derived its name from Bayonne 
n France, being pronounced Ba-yon'. There is a story that 
''rench Huguenots settled here some time before New Amsterdam 
vas settled. They are said to have remained about a year. 
rhis, however, is probably some old fireside legend, without a 
)article of truth in it. The author has searched, but can find 
lothing to give this story foundation. He is also told that when 
irastus Randall, E. C. Bramhall and B. F. Woolsey bought the 
and owned by Jasper and William Cadmus, for real estate specu- 
ation, they called it Bayonne by reason of its touching the 
(Orders and being on the shores of two bays, Newark and New 
L^ork — hence Bay-on, or on the bays. This, in all probability, is 
he real origin of the name. 

*From the first Directory and Manual of Bayonne, piiblislicd 1879-80 
y the Bayonne Printing Company. 


Township Government. 

The first elected Committeemen of the Township of Bayonne 
held their first meeting for the transaction of business April 13, 
1861, at the house of H. B. Beaty, in Centreville.* Present — 
Hartman Vreeland, Ebenezer G. Ferris, William L. Beaumont, 
De Witt C. Morris, Peter Vreeland, Hiram Van Buskirk, Clerk. 
Hartman Vreeland was elected chairman, and William Beaumont 
Treasurer ; there being, at the election, a tie vote for Committee- 
man between Jacob A. Van Horn and De Witt C. Morris, Mr. Van 
Horn declined serving and De Witt C. Morris was appointed as a 
member of the Committee by a unanimous vote of the Board.** 

At the time of Bayonne being erected into a township, it was 
composed of Saltersville*** (now the Third Ward), Centreville, 
Bergen Point and Constable's Hook. About this time, there were 
only three stores in this entire section. One was kept by Michael 
Mullaney at Saltersville. Another was in Centerville, and kept 
by Hansan Carragan. Robert A. Ansart was proprietor of 
the third, located at Bergen Point. Later, G. D. L. Zabriski 
opened a country store on the old Plank Road opposite the La 
Tourette House stables. These stores kept a supply of every- 
thing from a wooden button up, including hardware, tinware, dry 
goods, boots, shoes, clothing and tobacco. Apple jack was sold at 
twenty-five cents a bottle. A post-oftice was in most of these 
stores, and the folks would congregate to get their mail and gossip 
about the oyster war. A two-horse express carried the mail to 
and from New York each day. 

A bucket company was the only means of fire protection. 

On First Street there stood an edifice, originally designed for 

*Named so for reason of its being in a central location. 
**First Directory and Manual of Bayonne. 

***Saltersville was named after David Salter, who lived at and erected 
a number of houses in Pamrapo. 

B A Y O N N E . 6-, 

1 lecture hall and during many years serving as a school house. 
This was the first school in Bergen Point. It was east of the 
residence of Sheriff Garretson. The Bergen Point Lyceum met 
it this hall for several seasons. This was an institution organized 
:o promote mutual instruction among the members, the ordinary 
:?xercises consisting of debates and lectures. Straw rides, sleigh- 
ing parties, corn husking parties and singing classes occupied the 
:ime of the younger set. These elements were centralized at the 
La Tourette House, especially during the summer. 

Bayonne was indeed a farmer's paradise; flourishing farms 
:iere and there ; men and boys working in the fields ; cows in the 
3astures, feeding ; fields of waving corn, with a bay on either 
side ; birds singing merrily in the woods ; the occasional bark of 
1 dog ; the neigh of a horse ; the crow of a rooster ; the rattle of 
nilk cans; a "Gee-up" and "Ho" — these were the things that 
:onfronted one when traveling along the old Plank Road in days 
>f yore. Bergen Point was "the town," and the section north of 
Fourteenth Street, which was two-thirds woods, was the "coun- 
ry," in which there were scattered a few houses. 

At this period school was also held in the old frame building 
vhich stands in the rear of Hudson Engine House on Avenue D. 
rhe teacher received $400 per year. In 1855, Brooks, father of 
Police Inspector Brooks of New York, was the teacher. John E. 
\ndrus (now Mayor of Yonkers) taught this school a few years 
ater. Another school stood at Avenue E and Grand and Centre 
Streets. At the close of 1861 the township could boast of three 
listrict schools, three teachers and 596 pupils. 

Fish's Lane, in Pamrapo, received its name from Captain 
R.obert Fish, who lived there. His house is still standing. He 
milt the tower on it to get out of reach of the mosquitoes. 


i860— 1866. 

Civil War — Close Light Guards — Excitement During War — First Port 
Johnson Coal Dock. 

Rumors of war with the South, at this period, were freely 
discussed among the inhabitants. War was the topic everywhere. 
It was talked about in the meeting-house, in the store, by the fire- 
side at home, and in the fields. Farming was neglected. 

In the spring of 1861, the great Civil War broke out. Mid- 
dle-aged men and youths hastened to enlist, while the old men 
and boys remained at home to work the farm. 

The local military company, called the Close Light Guards,* 
was merged into Company E of the Second New Jersey, in April, 
to serve for three months. This company drilled at the Mansion 
House, then located on Grand Street, Pamrapo. In August, 
1862, most of them re-enlisted for nine months' service in Com- 
pany C, Twenty-first New Jersey. They were sent to Washing- 
ton. Others enlisted in New York and Jersey City. 

During the war, the post-office was beseiged with anxious 
inhabitants for letters from their loved ones guarding the Capitol 
and on the fighting border. New York newspapers, such as the 
"Tribune," "Herald" and "Post," were bought and read with 
eagerness. Food products went up. Milk was sold at thirty 
cents per quart, yeast as high as twenty cents, and tea at $1.50. 

♦Named after J. B. Close, a local resident. 


A military company wearing the French uniform, called the 
Duryea Zouaves, camped for nearly a year on the property now 
used as a picnic grove on the Newark Bay shore in Pamrapo. 
This company was not composed of local men. They were a 
rough lot, and always in mischief. The inhabitants were not sorry 
at their departure. 

At last the long years of war passed by, and the sur- 
vivors returned home. There was great rejoicing, except for 
those who had lost their dear ones. The little township had done 
its first important duty, and that was in serving its country. 

The first coal dock at Port Johnston (on the Kill) was com- 
pleted and in operation in July, 1866. This place became one of 
the principal coal depots in the country. It was named in honor 
of the President of the C. R. R. of N. J. at that time. 



1866— 1872. 

Incorporated as a City — Charter Submitted to the People — Newspaper 
Extracts — First City Officials — Last Meeting of Township Committee Men — 
Organization of City Government — Important Ordinances — Assessed Valu- 
ation of Property in 1869 — Public Improvements — First Police Chief — 
First Annual Tax Assessment — Organization of Fire Department — First 
Sewer Main. 

The steady growth of population in the Township of Bayonne, 
which in 1865 numbered 1,700, was thought by the majority to 
warrant a charter for a city government. Accordingly, a few 
years later, after a little effort on the part of certaiii individuals, 
"An act to incorporate the city of Bayonne" was passed by the 
Legislature, and approved March 10, 1869. 

The city was divided into three wards, and power was vested 
in the Mayor and Council to increase the number of wards. The 
charter provided for the election of a Mayor and Recorder as city 
officials, and for the election in each ward, as ward officers, of two 
Councilmen, a Constable, Pound-Keeper, Commissioner of Ap- 
peals, Tax Assessor,* and three Inspectors of Election ; also a 

*It might be of interest to note here the taxable property in 1868: 

Lands valued by the acre $2,021,000 

Houses and lots valued at 604,750 

Personal property 284,425 



School Trustee in each ward. By the charter, the school trustees 
of the several wards were constituted and called a Board of 

On Friday, March 19, 1869, the new charter of the city was 
submitted to the people, and was ratified by a vote of 225 to 34. 

Newspaper Extracts. 

The following item appeared in the New York "Times," 
Saturday, March 20, 1869: — 

"The charter for the city of Bayonne was ratified yesterday 
by a popular vote, — 225 having- voted for it, to 34 against. The 
new city consists of the neck of land known as Bergen Point, and 
embraces a population of 4,000 souls. The charter provides for 
the election of a Mayor and AJdermen every two years. The city 
is divided into three wards, and will have four or five special Con- 

In the Jersey City "Evening Journal" of Monday, March 29, 
1869, this paragraph is found : — 

"The new city stands so appalled at the sudden greatness 
thrust upon it — a stake with plentiful condiments, spring birds, 
springing frogs and in one word, sprung rum, that movements 
for the corporative officers are very slow." 

Apparently, from old newspaper accounts, chicken thieving 
was practised very frequently. In the "Evening Journal" (Jer- 
sey City) of March 4, 1869, there appears:; — 

"Chicken thieves are still numerous in this neighborhood. 
Two darkies were found at this game, night before last, one of 
whom had his coattail shot off. 'Nigger Bill' swears he don't 
like fowl any more — give him soft clams." 

On March 12, in the same paper, the author finds: — 
"A police is wanted to protect the inhabitants from chicken 

*First Directory and Manual of Bayonne. 


thieving, which is principally laid to the account of the darkies 
infecting what is called the 'negro settlement.' " 

Horse racing was a chief sport. The Plank Road was the 
scene of many a lively contest. In the Jersey City "Evening 
Journal" of Monday, March 29, 1869, is found this : — 

"Racing, — this sport, so gratifying to the sporters but terrify- 
ing to youngsters, was lively on the Plank road yesterday. Several 
accidents occurred which did not result in any material damage. 
Why not take the back road?" 

The following is an item which also appeared about this time 
in the "Hudson County Times" : — 

"A milkman in Hudson City has adopted a new and some- 
what novel method of giving his customers fresh milk. He drives 
his cows from door to door and allows each to milk the required 
amount and then water and chalk to suit their taste." 

City Government. 
The first election under the original city charter was held 
Tuesday, April 13, 1869. The following were elected: — 


Henry Meigs, Jr., on the Citizens' Ticket,* 


William D. Myers. 


President, Jacob R. Schuyler. 

First Ward. 

Rufus Story, William L. Beaumont. 

Second Ward. 

Jacob R. Schuyler, Charles C. Hough. 

Third Ward. 

John Combs, Joseph Els worth. 

*A copy of Mayor Meigs' speech of acceptance, dated April 26, 1869, 
is among the collections of the New Jersey Historical Society. 


City Officers. 

City Clerk, Francis I. Smith. 

City Treasurer, Samuel T. Brown. 

Collector of Revenue, John H. Carragan. 

Street Commissioner, Hiram Van Buskirk. 

City Surveyor, Emmet Smith. 

City Attorney, William H. Johnston. 

City Council, Leon Abbett. 

Overseer of Poor, Edward Perry. 

Board of Education. 

President, Frederick G. Payn. 

Secretary, William D. Myers. 

First Ward. 

Frederick G. Payn, David C. Halsted, 

Charles Davis. 

Second Ward. 

John Van Buskirk, Jr., Nathan Bartlett, 

Cornelius H. Vreeland. 

Third Ward. 

WilHam D. Myers, Joshua S. Jones, 

John W. Russell. 

The last meeting of the Board of Committeemen for the 

township was held April 26, 1860. The minutes of this meeting 

closed thus : — 

"The Board at half past eight o'clock adjourned, sine die, 
harmony and good will prevailing. (Signed) E. C. Bramhall, 
Chairman ; F. I. Smith, Township Clerk." 

On April 26, 1869 (then beginning of the Councilmanic term 
according to the charter), the Mayor and Councilmen-elect assem- 
bled at Carragan's Hall (called Council Hall), at Avenue D and 
what was then Twenty-seventh Street (now Twenty-second), for 



the purpose of organizing in compliance with the charter, and a 
thorough organization was effected. 

CouNCii, Hall, 
The First City Hall and Later the Public Library.* 

In June, the following ordinance was passed : — 
"An Ordinance 
"To fix the Salaries of Officers, for the year ending the first Mon- 
day of May, 1870. 

"The Mayor and Council of the City of Bayonne do ordain 
as follows : 

"Sec. I. There shall be paid to the several officers named in 
this section, the following annual salaries, to be paid in quarterly 
installments, to wit : 

"To the Recorder for the first, being the present year, the sum 
of three hundred dollars ; for the second year, the sum of four 
hundred dollars; for the third year the sum of five hundred 

*This building was originally built by George Carragen & Co., gro- 
cers, in 1867, and occupied by them until 1873. The Free Public Library 
entered it in 1802. 


"To the City Clerk the sum of eight hundred dollars. 

"To the Collector of Revenue, the sum of six hundred dollars. 

"To the Treasurer, the sum of six hundred dollars. 

"To the Corporation Attorney, the sum of two hundred 

"Sec. 2. To the Judges of Election of the several Wards, 
the sum of six dollars each, for their services as rendered at each 

"To the Ward Clerks of the several Wards, the sum of seven 
and one-half dollars each, for their services as rendered at each 

"To the Assessor of the First Ward, the sum of one hundred 
and twenty-five dollars. 

"To the Assessor of the Second Ward, the sum of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five dollars. 

"To the Assessor of the Third Ward, the sum of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five dollars. 

"To the Commissioner of Appeals in cases of taxation, the 
sum of five dollars for each day employed. 

"To the Board of Commissioners of Assessments shall be 
paid the sum of ten dollars for each assessment to be assessed 
upon the property included in each assessment for which the 
services are rendered. 

"Passed June ii, 1869. 

"Approved June 15, 1869. 

"Attest : F. I. Smith, Henry Meigs, 

"Clerk. Mayor." 

By an ordinance passed June 22, 1869, the first Board of 
Health was created in the city. 

About this time it was deemed necessary to have police to 
patrol the city. An ordinance was passed therefor, on August 31, 



Bird's Eye Vj. 

B A Y O N N E 

:H in 1S75. 

OourU'Sj ot Bsyoone Times, 


1869, to establish and regulate a Police Department. A few 
months later, George B. Whitney was appointed Chief of Police. 
Michael Connolley and C. Van Horn were appointed patrolmen 
by Mayor Meigs at the same time. This, then, was the organiza- 
tion of the police force. The population had now grown to 3,834. 

The first annual tax assessment (exclusive of poll tax) under 
city charter for the year ending May 4, 1870, was fixed by or- 
dinance passed in September, 1869, and amounted to $31,620. It 
was composed of the following : — Payment of interest, $4,935 ; 
payment of salaries, $3,335; printing, $1,000; public schools, 
$8,000 ; street repairs, $5,000 ; support of poor, $500 ; Map and 
Grade Commission, .$5,000; day and night police, $2,100; city 
prison and lockup, $500; election purposes, $150; public health, 
$100; contingent expenses, $1,000. 

On December 14, 1869, the Council removed and first met to 
transact public business in the City Hall room (Hendrickson's 
building) on Avenue D, corner of Maple Avenue (now Thirty-first 
Street), and they continued to hold their meetings at that place 
for the next five years. 

The first Bayonne newspaper was the "Bayonne Herald and 
Greenville Register," which was first issued December 25, 1869, 
as a weekly, with Roswell Graves as editor.* 

In the winter of 1869-70, Public School No. 2, on Avenue D, 
between Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Streets, was erected at a 
cost of $12,000. No. 5 School at Constable's Hook was also 
erected about this time, and was opened for use in 1870. 

In August, 1870, the "Hudson County Times," weekly, was 
established and published at Bergen Point by the Times Printing 
Company of Jersey City.** 

*Now published at Bergen Point as a weekly democratic paper Owned 
and edited by Col. H. C. Page. 

**Now published by the Bayonne Printing and Publishing Company 
(J. T. R. Proctor, Editor) at Avenue D and Thirty-first Street, as a daily 
republican paper, called the Bayonne "Daily Times." 


In November, 1870, an ordinance was passed "to Establish, 
Regulate and Control a Fire Department." The first fire com- 
pany was organized in Pamrapo, with a membership of about 
thirty-five, and was called Truck I. "Hope Hose" Company No. 
2 (named after Col. Hope, of N. J. C. R. R.) was organized soon 
after. This company occupied the former frame school building 
which stox)d on the site of "Hudson" Company's present building. 
It is now in the rear and used as a stable. About the same time, 
the "Kid Glove" Chemical Engine Company, No. I, was organ- 
ized, and had their quarters in Schuyler Hall, Bergen Point. The 
Fire Department in 1870, therefore, had three apparatus, with a 
total of about one hundred and twenty men, and was volunteer. 
P'ire alarms were sounded by the church bells. Steel locomotive 
tires, cut and hung by chains, were also struck with sledge ham- 
mers ; one being near the Thirty-third Street station, another at 
"Hudson" Company's present building, and another in Pamrapo. 

The first sewer main was known as the Cottage Street sewer, 
and was built in 1 870-1 871. 

No. 4 School, on Fifth Street, was erected shortly after No. 2, 
at a cost of $16,000, and was opened in September, 1871. The 
old frame school house on Dodge Street was then converted into 
an engine house. Shortly after this School No. 3 was erected in 
Pamrapo on Centre Street, at a cost of about $17,000. One thou- 
sand children attended the public schools at this time. 

From the time the city was surveyed and laid out, in 1869, 
public improvements progressed very rapidly. Streets and ave- 
nues were opened and graded, including the two principal thor- 
oughfares, Avenues D and C ;* sidewalks were flagged and 
curbed ; crosswalks were laid ; sewers constructed, and gas pipes 
put through. 

*An ordinance was passed December 7, 1869, "to open, regulate and 
grade Avenue D from Cottage Street to the Morris Canal." On June 21. 
1870, an ordinance was passed "to open, regulate and grade Avenue C from 
North Avenue to the ]\Iorris Canal." 


Cost of Living in 1871. 

Four, wheat, per barrel $10.75 

Tea, Oolong-, per pound .70 

Beef, roasting-, per pound .19 

Lard, per pound .15 

Potatoes, per bushel 1.02 

Milk, per quart .08 

Eggs, per dozen .30 

Coal, per ton 9.25 

Pine wood, per cord 7.00 

Cotton flannel, per yard -273^ 

Men's heavy boots, per pair 4.00 

BAYO N N E . 77 

1872 — 1879. 

Revised Charter — First Street Gas Lamps — School Improvements — 
First Fire Chief — Fourth Ward Created — Newspaper Extracts. 

On March ■22, 1872, a revised charter was approved, which 
provided that all the powers and authority vested in the so-called 
Map and Grade Commissioners, upon the expiration of their term 
of office, should then and thereafter be vested in the Mayor and 
Council. The Commissioners continued in office until May i, 
1873, when their term of office expired. =•= Their duties then de- 
volved upon the Board of Councilmen, since which time the Board 
have had the direction and control of the public improvements in 
the city. 

On February 29, 1872, the first street gas lamp for public use 
was lighted (ordinance passed December 12. 1871), and in Octo- 
ber following a number of the streets in the First Ward were 
lighted with gas, by contract. 

According to the annual report of Police Chief Whitney for 
1872, the total number of arrests were two hundred and twenty- 
five, and the number of places selling liquor in the city limits was 

During this year the "long dock" had been filled in. 

An additional ward was created on March 11, 1873; thereby 
the city was divided into four wards. The number of Council- 
men and other ward officers was proportionately increased. 

*Total expenditures amounted to $2.4,252.14. 



In the winter of 1873-74, the first night school was opened in 
School No. 4. About this time the city purchased Carragan's 
building for $10,500, which was reconstructed on the same site 
where the city government had been inaugurated in April, 1869. 
On June 30, 1874, the Mayor and Council first met in this, the new 
City Hall. 

For the year 1875, the aggregate sum of $90,675.78 was to 
be assessed and collected. This included $19,720 for supporting 
and maintaining public schools ; $4,000 for street repairs, etc. ; 
$9,984 for salaries of city officials; and $21,500.78 for lighting 

In the spring of 1876, No. i School, which was being built on 
Fifth Street between Avenue C and Newman Avenue, was opened 
for use (cost about $20,000), Five spacious brick buildings for 
public school purposes had so far been erected in the several 
wards, under the direction and supervision of the Board of Educa- 
tion, and a system of instruction was established which placed the 
schools of the city on a par with the best public schools of the 

About June i, 1877, the Standard Oil Company erected an oil 
refinery on Constable's Hook. This was the beginning of their 
present enormous plant at that place. 

The first chief engineer of the Fire Department was ap- 
pointed in the same year. This was E. Berry. 

At this time it was thought advisable to revise and alter the 
division into wards, and to increase the number of wards. An 
ordinance was passed in August, 1877, to create a new ward, 
notwithstanding the objection of Mayor Meigs. This ordinance 
was to take efifect March 10, 1878. However, on January 22, 
1878, this ordinance was repealed. 

Extracts from local newspapers during this epoch : — 

"Chestnuts should be very cheap this year — there is an abun- 
dance of them." 


"Boatmen on the canal are hurrying up their trips in an- 
ticipation of an early close of navigation." 

"Farmers are busily engaged in husking corn. The crop is 
very large, which fact causes the farmers to smile amazingly." 
"Bovine Express. 

"An enterprising citizen passed our office* on Wednesday 
morning, driving a yoke of oxen attached to a large wagon loaded 
with various articles of merchandise, on his way to New York. 
We afterward saw the same team on its way up Centre Street, 
New York, followed by a company of boys who manifested great 
curiosity at the unusual spectacle. Bovines have been brought 
into quite general use, owing to the prevailing epidemic among the 
horses." — "Hudson County Times," November i, 1872. 

*Avenue D, near Cottage street. 



Lane Elected Mayor — General Description — City Finances — Fifth Ward 
Erected — Contract for City Water — Avenue D Macadamized. 

In 1879 Stephen K. Lane was elected Mayor on Citizens' 
ticket, to succeed Henry Meigs. 

A glance at the city in 1879. Police Headquarters and City 
Prison occupied the basement of the former Public Library, then 
the City Hall. The Fourth Ward police station occupied the old 
No. 4 School on Dodge Street. The number of churches was 
eleven. The Fire Department had a total membership of one 
hundred and eighty-five, with five companies, besides the Kill von 
Kull hand engine at Bayonneport (property of the C. T. Reynolds 
Company), manned by the employees of the color works. The 
Bayonne and Greenville Gas I.-ight Company advertised gas at 
$3.00 per 1,000 feet. Oliver's express boasted of the "largest and 
best truck in the city." 

The post-offices within the boundary of the city were located 
at Bergen Point, Bayonne, Pamrapo and Van Buskirk's (Con- 
stable's Hook). The first named was on Sixteenth Street (now 
Eighth), opposite the Central Railroad depot; C. T. Munn was 
postmaster. The second was on Avenue E, corner of Bayonne 
Avenue (now Thirty-third Street), with J. Murphy, Jr., as post- 
master. The third was the Saltersville post-office of years past; 
M. Mullaney, postmaster. The fourth was on Constable's Hook. 
G. Christians was postmaster here. 


In this year Bayonne was divided into four wards, with five 
pubHc and three private schools. The PoHce Department con- 
sisted of one chief and eight patrohnen. Two weekly news- 
papers, the "Herald" and ''Times," supplied the local news. The 
C. R. R. of N. J. had four depots, and trains ran frequently. 
Real estate was booming, and there was a remarkable increase of 
stores for the next ten years. Extensive coal docks had been 
built on the Kills. Ten large manufacturing concerns were 
located at Constable's Hook, and gave employment to hundreds 
of men. 

From the financial statement made by the Mayor to the State 
Comptroller on October i, 1879, the following is included: — 

Obligations contracted; $17,200 war bonds, $228,000 funded 
assessments, $219,000 improvements, $165,000 tax bonds (ten 
years), $106,500 city bonds (twenty years) ; total amount of 
funded debt, $735,700. Amount of floating debt, $76,758.22; 
sinking fund, $27,000; real property, $5,250,500; personal prop- 
erty, $153,000. Total rate of tax for city purposes, $1.47 per $100. 

Some annual expenses; School, $14,550; salaries, $8,555; 
Police Department, $7,400 ; repairs to roads, $3,000 ; lighting 
streets, $8,925. 

For the sanitary survey and inspection of Bayonne in April, 
1880, by Messrs. Brush and Eddy, they report in part: — "Highest 
elevation above sea level is 6j feet. The lowest, one foot. Aver- 
age level is 30 feet. Character of the surface soil is sandy and 
loamy, with occasional cropping of trap rock. Water supply is 
by means of wells and cisterns. There are forty-three miles of 
unpaved streets and one mile paved (that macadam). There are 
four and one-half miles of sewers. Dwelling houses number 
about 1,200, mostly frame. There are about three hundred tene- 
ment houses." 

In 1880, the population had increased to 9,372, of which 


about 725 were under five years of age. There were thirty-two 
marriages and one hundred and ninety births and one hundred 
and forty-five deaths in the same year. 

On Alarch 15, 1881, part of the Second Ward was cut oft" and 
termed the Fifth Ward. 

The first attempt to obtain water was made in 1881, when a 
contract was made with Jersey City to supply Bayonne. In 1882 
water main No. i was laid from Jersey City, at a cost of $61,860.50. 
The water was unfit to drink, and was used mostly for manufac- 
turing purposes. 

In November, the following year, (1883), Avenue D from 
Cottage Street to the Morris Canal was macadamized, at a cost 
of about $108,400. 

B A Y O N N E . 83 

1883— 1 89 1. 

Oliver Elected Mayor — Ordinance for Better Observance of the Sab- 
bath — Newman Elected Mayor — Street Names Changed — Liquor License 
Increased — Electric Lights — New School — Free Mail Delivery — Hospital 
Founded — Establishment of Public Library — Growth of Population — New 
City Hall— Martin Act. 

In 1883, D. W. Oliver was elected Mayor on the Democratic 

An ordinance for the better observance of the Christian Sab- 
bath was passed in October, 1884. This prohibited public parades, 
accompanied by music, within the limits of the city, except, of 
course, military organizations parading with appropriate sacred 
music on funeral occasions. 

In 1885 the annual assessment included $25,597 for support 
and maintenance of public schools; for salaries, $11,200; for sup- 
port of Fire Department, $3,000 ; for street improvements, 

The first bank in Bayonne — the Mechanics Trust Company — 
was organized the following year (1886), and located at Bergen 

John Newman was elected Mayor in 1887 on the Republican 
Citizens' ticket, to succeed Oliver. 

The names of sixty-seven streets were changed by ordinance 
passed January 3, 1888: — 


Latourette Street to Sixth Street ; South Street to Seventh 
Street ; Fifteenth Street to Linden Street ; Sixteenth Street to 
Eighth Street; Humphrey's Street to Ninth Street; Meigs and 
Elm Streets to Tenth Street ; Eighteenth and Robin Streets to 
Eleventh Street ; Van Buskirk Avenue to Twelfth Street ; Nine- 
teenth Street to Thirteenth Street ; Twentieth Street to Four- 
teenth Street ; Twenty-first Street to Fifteenth Street ; Twenty- 
second Street to Sixteenth Street ; Twenty-third Street to Seven- 
teenth Street ; Twenty- fourth Street to Eighteenth Street ; 
Twenty-fifth Street to Nineteenth Street ; Summit Street to 
Twentieth Street ; Twenty-sixth Street to Twenty-first Street ; 
Twenty-seventh Street to Twenty-second Street ; Twenty-eighth 
Street to Twenty-third Street ; Twenty-ninth Street to Twenty- 
fourth Street ; Thirtieth Street to Twenty-fifth Street ; Thirty- 
first Street to Twenty-sixth Street; Thirty-second Street to 
Twenty-seventh Street; Thirty-third Street to Twenty-eighth 
Street ; Thirty- fourth Street to Twenty-ninth Street ; Chestnut 
Avenue to Thirtieth Street ; Maple Avenue to Thirty-first Street ; 
Oakland Avenue to Thirty-second Street ; Bayonne Avenue to 
Thirty-third Street ; Huron Avenue to Thirty-fourth Street ; 
Division Street to Thirty-fifth Street ; Southview Avenue to 
Forty-first Street ; Seaview Avenue to Forty-second Street ; Fair- 
view Avenue to Forty-third Street ; Cadmus Avenue to Forty- 
fourth Street ; Bayview Avenue to Forty-fifth Street ; Westview 
Avenue to Forty-sixth Street; Northview Avenue to Forty- 
seventh Street ; Forty-first Street to Forty-eighth Street ; Forty- 
second Street to Forty-ninth Street ; Forty-third Street to Fiftieth 
Street ; Forty-fourth Street to Fifty-first Street ; Forty-fifth Street 
to Fifty-second Street; Forty-sixth Street to Fifty-third Street; 
Forty-seventh Street to Fifty-fourth Street; Forty-eighth Street 
to Fifty-fifth Street; Forty-ninth Street to Fifty-sixth Street; 
Fiftieth Street to Fifty-seventh Street ; Fifty-first Street to Fifty- 

B A Y O N N E . 85 

eighth Street; Fifty-second Street to Fifty-ninth Street; Fifty- 
third Street to Sixtieth Street ; Fifty-fourth Street to Sixty-first 
Street; Fifty-fifth Street to Sixty-second Street; Fifty-sixth 
Street to Sixty-third Street ; Avenue B south of South Street to 
Meigs Avenue ; Avenue O to Rathbun Avenue ; Avenue P to 
Humphreys Avenue ; Avenue Q to Newman Avenue ; Avenue R 
to Avenue C ; Avenue S to Avenue D ; Avenue T to Lord Ave- 
nue ; Avenue U to Lexington Avenue ; Avenue V to Hobart Ave- 
nue ; Avenue W to CHnton Avenue ; Brighton Street to Brighton 
Avenue ; East Street to East Avenue ; Crescent Avenue to Ave- 
nue E. 

An ordinance was passed by the Council February 21, 1888, 
to provide for the numbering of houses by consecutive numbers 
for convenience and identification. 

On April 17, 1888, the price of a license to keep an inn and 
tavern was increased from $75 to $250 by an ordinance passed on 
that date and approved by Mayor Newman on April 19. A 
license to keep a restaurant and beer saloon was increased from 
$50 to $250 by the same ordinance. 

Li the same year an ordinance was passed September 7, 
authorizing the Bayonne Electric Company to erect and maintain 
a system of poles and wires for electric lighting in the streets and 
public places in the city. This was the first contract for electric 
lighting of the streets. As compensation for the privilege 
granted, the company was to furnish and light in the streets, free 
of charge to the city, an arc lamp for every fifty subscribers for 
private lighting. The city was also to be allowed to stretch the 
police and fire alarm wires on the same poles. 

In December of this year (1888). School No. 6, which was 
being erected on Thirty-eighth Street between Avenues C and D, 
at a cost of $21,000, was opened for occupancy. 


On February i, 1889, the free mail delivery system was put 
mto operation. At this time Thomas Brady was postmaster. 

The Bayonne Hospital and Dispensary had been incorporated 
on March 2, 1888. This hospital was opened March 3, 1890, in 
the building on East Thirtieth Street, which was donated to the 
association by Mrs. Alice Story Rowland and Mrs. Abbey Story 
Marshall. It was furnished by Mrs. Rufus Story with accommo- 
dations for forty patients. No restrictions as to age, sex, color 
or religious belief were imposed. It was to be supported by con- 
tributions, endowments, etc. 

A meeting was held at Schuyler Hall on Monday evening, 
April 2, 1888, under the joint auspices of the Land and Labor 
Club and the Bergen Point Debating Club, for the establishment 
of a Public Library. Speeches were made by prominent citizens, 
and resolutions were adopted favoring the establishment of a 
library under provision of an act of the Legislature passed in 
1884. On April 8. 1890, the question was submitted to a vote of 
the people and was carried by a large majority (1,897 in favor, 
193 against). On August 5, 1890, it was organized by the elec- 
tion of officers, and incorporation papers were signed August 25. 

The population of the city at this time was estimated at 
19,033. The growth of the city warranted more improvements. 
More improvements require more labor on the part of the city 
officials, and more labor required a larger space to transact the 
numerous affairs. Consequently it was thought at this time ad- 
visable to erect a new City Hall. 

On December 2, 1890, the contract was awarded for a large 
two-story and basement brick building to be erected on the south- 
west corner of Avenue E and Thirtieth Street ; contract price 
being $46,999. 

The actual number of dwellings in 1890 was 2,820, and the 
estimated persons to each dwelling were 5.9. 


During- the last term of Newman's administration, the re- 
moval of garbage by the city was first put in operation. 

It was also during this administration that Bayonne first 
took advantage of the Martin Act. This was an act that had been 
passed whereby a city like Bayonne could appoint commissioners 
to go from ward to ward, looking up delinquent tax payers, 
seizing property in lieu of unpaid taxes, 'justifying claims and 
assessing property at what they judged was its real value. 



1891 — 1895. 

Farr Elected Mayor — Board of Trade Organized — High School Estab- 
lished — New City Hall Completed — Celebration of Opening — Ordinance to 
Prohibit Vice and Immorality — Kite Experiments — New City Dock — Public 
Library Opened — Annual Tax for 1894 — Contract for Pure Water. 

William C. Farr was elected Mayor in 1891 on the Republi- 
can-Citizens' ticket. 

On October 5, 1891, the Board of Trade was organized. 

The following year the Bergen Neck Railway spur from 
Communipaw to Constable's Hook was completed. This spur 
was used for the purpose of conveying oil and other products 
from the Hook. 

In 1892 the organization of the High School was efifected. 
The academic classes which had previously been held in Schools 
Nos. 2, 4 and 6, were transferred to the old church building on 
Avenue D and Twenty-ninth Street, and termed the High School. 

Jn the fall of the same year the new City Hall was com- 
pleted, at a cost of $55,236.15. The grounds, however, costing 
$9,046.43, brings the total cost to $64,282.58. This building was 
occupied on October 21. On this day, the inhabitants celebrated 
the opening of the new City Hall. Churches, schools, stores and 
dwellings were tastefully decorated with flags and bunting. 
Pupils of the schools held anniversary exercises. A large mili- 
tary, civic and trade union parade took place. The Fire Depart- 
ment and school children also participated in this event, making a 
total of 4,000 in line. The following day, the 22d, the City Hall 
was thrown open for inspection. Police Headquarters were also 


transferred from the old City Hall to the new, and additional 
patrolmen were soon added to the force. 

In March, 1893, the Common Council granted to the Board 
of Trustees of the Public Library a ten-year lease of the old build- 
ing at a nominal rent, with the privilege of removing. 

An ordinance to prohibit and prevent vice and immorality 
was passed May 2, 1893, and approved May 4 by Mayor Farr. 
This ordinance made it unlawful to admit any female under six- 
teen years of age to any picnic, ball, dance house or other public 
place of amusement, unless accompanied by her parents or by her 
legal guardian. 

The highest flight ever made by a kite was on November 7, 
1893, at Bergen Point, when William A. Eddy used two miles of 
cord in flying tandem kites, one of which reached an altitude of 
5.'595 feet. 

In 1893 the city built a dock at the foot of Ingham Avenue, 
at a cost of $9,000. 

It was during this year that the Bayonne "Democrat," with 
M. R. Freel as editor and publisher, began publication as a weekly 
democratic newspaper. 

In the spring of this year Mayor Farr received both the Re- 
publican and Democratic nominations, and was re-elected. He 
was the first Mayor ever elected in Bayonne without an opposition 

During the last term of Farr's administration the city ob- 
tained control of the property bounded by the Boulevard, Newark 
Bay, Sixteenth to Fourteenth Streets, to be used at some future 
time as a public park.* 

On January 8, 1894, the reading-room of the Public Library 
was opened to the public, and two weeks later the circulating de- 

*This land was secured and taken in exchange by the city, in Heu of 
unpaid taxes and assessments. 


partment was opened with nearly 4,000 volumes on the shelves. 
The books of the Workingmen's Library (some 1,500 volumes) 
were purchased June 25, 1894, and on February i, 1895, the total 
number of volumes had increased to about 6,600. 

An ordinance to direct the assessment and collection of the 
annual tax for 1894 included the following: — For supporting and 
maintaining pubHc schools, $45,710 ; for support of Fire Depart- 
ment, $5,000; Bayonne Hospital, $1,500; repairs to streets, 
$7,000; police pensions, $975; salaries of city officials, $15,800; 
support of police, $34,100; Free Public Library, $3,675.80. 

In 1894, old No. 3 School in Pamrapo was condemned, hav- 
ing been cracked in the process of moving from Centre Street to 
Forty-seventh Street. 

Up to this time the city contracted with Jersey City for its 
water supply. This water was very poor and unhealthy, and it 
was deemed a public necessity to obtain a better supply. As a re- 
sult, in September, 1894, the Common Council awarded a twenty- 
five year contract to the New York and New Jersey Water Com- 
pany to supply the city with pure water, the city agreeing to pay 
for two million gallons daily the first year, and two and one-half 
millions daily thereafter, at the following rates : — 2,000,000 
gallons at $89 per million. 3,000,000 gallons at $80 per million, 
4,000,000 gallons at $70 per million, 5,000,000 gallons at $55 per 
million, 6,000,000 gallons at $40 per million. This contract con- 
tained a provision by which the water company was obliged to 
purchase lands for dams, etc., and build water works and sell the 
same to the city at certain periods mentioned in the contract, 
should the city desire to purchase the same. 

On February 28, 1895, ^^""^ Charity Organization Society was 

During Farr's administration, more than $350,000 was paid 
for street improvements alone, for which bonds were issued and 
sold for as high as $110. 



The completion of the labors of the "Martin Act" Commis- 
sion and its discharge by the Circuit Court occurred during Farr's 

Courtesy of N. J. Central R. It. 

Newark Bay by Moonlight. 

term of office. This was the means of saving an expenditure of 
about $12,000 per year in fees and salaries. 

The organization of the detective bureau, the adoption of the 
present fire alarm signal system, and the paving of East Twenty- 
second Street from Avenues D to T, making it fit for public travel,* 
were also accomplished. 

*The city endeavored to improve this road several times during tlie 
eighties, but always failed on account of court proceedings instituted by 
the Central Railroad Company. 


1895— 1904. 

Seymour Elected Mayor — Trouble With Water Company — Hudson 
Boulevard Completed — Extensive School Improvements — St. Luke's Hos- 
pital Opened — Standard Oil Fire — President McKinley's Death — Small-pox 
Epidemic — The Meeker Act — Street Improvements — St. Luke's Hospital 
Burned — Avenue C Asphalted — Andrew Carnegie Gives City Library — 
Work Begun on Public Park — New School No. 8 — Fire Destroys Tene- 
ments^Reports, Statistics, Etc., at Close of 1903. 

At the mayorality election in the spring of 1895, Egbert Sey- 
mour, on the Democratic ticket, was elected Mayor. Several of 
the Councilmen who were elected at this election, and two or three 
city officials, were opposed to the new water contract, and at- 
tempted a "hold-up." The trouble reached its height one day 
during the first year of Seymour's administration. While em- 
ployees of the water company were tapping the old mains to 
make the necessary water connection, some city officials arrived 
on the scene. Immediately there was trouble. The Fire Depart- 
ment was called out and played the hose on the poor employees 
of the water company until they quit work. For a time, a small 
sized riot was in progress. The matter was taken before the Su- 
preme Court of the United States by the water company, and an 
injunction was obtained against the city. United States marshals 
were stationed at the scene until the work was completed, to 
arrest any city official who interfered. 

In May, 1895, the Bayonne section of the Hudson County 
Boulevard was completed. The city did not have any share in 

B A Y O N N E . 93 

the expense of its construction, and abutting property owners paid 
a portion of the cost for flagging. In the spring of this year, 
electric arc lights were placed on every corner along Avenue D, 
illuminating that thoroughfare from one end to the other. 

For the first time in the world, a telephone and telegraph mes- 
sage was sent through a wire suspended by kites five hundred feet 
in mid-air on December 5, 1895, at Bergen Point. "Kite" Will- 
iam A. Eddy was making the experiment. 

For this year the actual dwellings numbered 2,915, with 6.8 
persons estimated to each. 

The overcrowding of the schools necessitated the enlarging 
of several school buildings. Old No. 3, in Pamrapo, having long 
been condemned and out of use, warranted the erection of a new 
school in that section. On June 18, 1895, contract was awarded 
for an addition of four rooms to School No. 2, at a cost of $7,784 
(opened for use January 23, 1896). On July 14, the following 
year, contracts were awarded for the following: — No. 3 School, 
new. Avenue D between Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Streets, sixteen 
rooms ; cost, land $6,400, building $44,888 (opened for use April 
28, 1897). No. I School, addition of four rooms; contract price 
$9,975 (opened for use April 6, 1897). No. 5 School, addition of 
four rooms; contract price $10,975 (opened for use about April 
6, 1897). 

There were remarkably few fires during the year 1896. The 
report of Hymen Lazarus, Chief Engineer of the Fire Depart- 
ment for the year ending January 6, 1897, showed a total of nine- 
teen alarms in the whole year. 

Improvements were still on the increase, so that on May 15, 
1897, there were forty-one miles of opened streets and fourteen 
miles of sewers. 

At this time the High School had outgrown its quarters in the 
old church building on Avenue D and Twentv-ninth Street. On 



this account the school was transferred on December 6, 1897, to 
Schuyler Hall, at Bergen Point, its present location. 

On April 5, 1898, a contract was awarded for the erection of 
a new twenty-room school, No. 7, on property between Seven- 
teenth and Andrew Streets; price of land, $12,400; building, 
$71,300 (opened for use September 5, 1899). On April 19, 1898, 
contracts were again awarded for the enlargement of school build- 
ings, this time : — No. 4 School, addition of four rooms ; contract 
price $13,216 (opened for use October 10, 1898) ; No. 6 School, 
addition of four rooms; contract price, ,$10,897 (opened for use 
about November i, 1898). 

On December 3, 1898. St. Luke's Hospital on East Twenty- 
second Street was opened. 

During the summer of 1897-8 several balloon ascensions 
were made at "Salter's," in Pamrapo, to which thousands would 
flock to witness these daring feats. At one occasion the parachute 
failed to open in its descent, and the horrified spectators saw the 
aeronaut fall to the earth and killed. 

The increase in population for the ten years ending 1900 was 
13,689, making the total in that year 32,722 souls. 

On the night of July 4, 1901, a number of oil tanks belonging 
to the Standard Oil Company at the Hook exploded. A terrible 
fire raged for five days, consuming millions of gallons of oil. 
Houses close by were threatened by the blaze, and the tenants, 
who were mostly poor, were compelled to remove their household 
belongings and camp out on the salt meadows. The local Fire 
Department fought splendidlv night and day, and much property 
was saved by the heroic efforts of the men, who were assisted by 
fire tugs from New York. This fire proved to be one of the 
largest in the United States, 

When, in September, 1901, President McKinley was linger- 
ing between life and death, the result of an assassin's bullet wound. 



public feeling here was at its height. Upon his death, the city 
went into mourning ; sorrow was manifest everywhere. Memorial 
services were held in most of the churches, and several fraternal 
organizations expressed their sympathy in writing to Mrs. Mc- 

The city was visited by small-pox in November, 1901. Over 
seventy cases were reported, of which twelve were fatal. School 
No. 5, on East Twenty-second Street, and the annex on the Hook 
Road, were both closed by order of the Board of Health. Every 
effort was made to check the spread of this dreaded disease. Dr. 
Forman, the city physician, and other doctors were kept busy 
night and day in vaccinating people. It is said some 7,000 per- 
sons were treated. 

In this year, by an act of Legislature, the commencement of 
the Councilmanic terms were changed from the last Monday in 
April, as prescribed by the charter, to the first day of January at 
12 o'clock, noon. This was called the "Meeker Act."' Owing to 
this, Mayor Seymour entered his fourth term on January i, 1902, 
being the first to do so. 

Building Inspector Thomas Herbert reported that during 
1901 more than a million dollars were invested in the erection of 
new dwellings and places of industry, together with improve- 
ments. The valuation of real estate amounted to over $15.- 

Great activity was evident in street improvements during this 
administration. From April, 1901, to April, 1902, there were 
added 3,608 linear feet of curbstone, 5,506 linear feet of flag- 
stone, 4,673 linear feet of macadam pavement, 5.800 feet of 

About April r, 1902, the old Masonic building on Eighth 
Street and Avenue C (formerly Schuyler Hall), which was being 
used as a High School, was purchased by the city at a cost of 


$14,500. (Alterations cost $11,661. School opened for use 
January 26, 1903.) 

In September, 1902, St. Luke's Hospital, on East Twenty- 
second Street, was totally destroyed by fire. 

Up to this period. Avenue C from Fifty-fourth Street to 
Twenty-fifth Street was a dirt road, with the exception of the 
stone blocks laid by the traction company between its tracks. It 
was thought advisable by the majority of the property owners to 
have this section asphalted, and the contract was awarded. This 
improvement was finished in the winter of 1902-3, at a total cost 
of $88,661.65. 

In April, 1903, Andrew Carnegie presented the city with 
$50,000 for a Public Library. A site had been previously selected 
on the northwest corner of Avenue C and Thirty-first Street, 
costing $8,500, and work was begun on the building in the fall. 

In August,' 1903, work was commenced for the laying out of 
a public park on grounds owned by the city, bounded by the 
Boulevard and Newark Bay, from Sixteenth to Nineteenth 

In the same year contract was awarded for the erection of a 
twenty-room public school building on Avenue C between 
Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Streets, to be called No. 8. 
Cost of land, $13,700; contract price of building, $84,658.* 

In this year, property, real and personal, amounted to $15,- 

At the mayoralty election in the fall of 1903, Thomas Brady 
was elected Mayor on the Democratic ticket, to succeed Mayor 
Seymour, who was serving his fourth term. 

On December 19, following, fire destroyed a row of frame 
flats on Avenue C and Eighteenth Street, rendering forty fam- 

*Corner stone laid April i^, 1904. 


ilies (mostly Hebrews) homeless and destitute. The fire victims 
were given temporary shelter in the Hebrew Hall building near- 
by, and contributions in the way of food, clothing and money 
were given by charitable neighbors and church workers. 

Reports, Statistics. Etc., at the Close of 1903. 

Chief of Police Thomas Magner reported for the past year 
as follows : — 

Total number of arrests, 1,962 ; males arrested, 1,462 ; females 
arrested, 320; over 16 years, 1,679; under 16 years, 283; total 
number of meals furnished for prisoners, 1,311, at 25 cents each, 
cost $327.75. Nativity of some of the persons arrested : — Aus- 
tria, 140; England, 50; Germany, 117; Hungary, 21; Italy, 47; 
Ireland, 273; Poland. 125; Russia, 179; United States, 977. 
Total amount of fines paid in Recorder's Court, $2,109.50. 

Superintendent of Schools, J. H. Christie, reported for De- 
cember, 1903, as follows : — Total enrollment, 5,504 ; average at- 
tendance, 4,644. This includes the night school, with total en- 
rollment of 334. 

Streets, Sewers, Etc. 

Belgian, 2.2 miles; macadam, 9.7 miles; asphalt, 1.6 mile; 
opened streets, improved, 13.5 miles; opened streets, unimproved, 
36 miles ; total miles of streets in city, 77.5 miles. There were 
also 30 miles of sewer and 39 miles of water pipe. 

The Treasurer's annual report for the City of Bayonne Fire 
Department Relief Fund showed a net balance of $19,190.35. 



Thomas Brady, Mayor-elect, Enters Ofilke — Police Trial Board Created 
— Destructive Fire — Report of Librarian — Bill for Bridge Between Bergen 
Point and Elizabethport — Annual Tax Budget for 1904 — City Treasurer's 
Annual Report — New Building for Police Headquarters — Carnegie Library 

Mayor-elect Brady entered office at the beginning of the 
new year. 

By an ordinance passed January 19, and approved January 
20, the first PoHce Trial Board was created. Egbert Seymour, 
Samuel Graham and John J. Cain were appointed a Police Trial 
Board to hear, try and determine charges preferred against mem- 
bers of the police force. 

On January 25, fire destroyed a row of frame tenements on 
Avenue C and Twenty-fourth Street, and thirty-five families 
were made homeless. Sympathizing persons again responded 
and provided the destitute with shelter, food, clothing and money. 

At the close of January, Miss Phoebe Ketcham, Librarian, 
reported that the Public Library had a total of 12,898 volumes, 
with 7,027 registered borrowers. The January circulation was 
3,972, and for the ten years it had been in existence the total cir- 
culation had reached 382,076. 

For this month the population was estimated at 43,014 by 
John J. Rooney, Clerk of the County Board of Health. 


In the early part of March, school rooms were made in the 
City Hall to accommodate scholars, the schools being cramped 
for room. 

For some time past there had been talk of having a bridge 
built across Newark Bay, connecting Bergen Point with Eliza- 
bethport, which, no doubt, would be beneficial to both places. 
Congressman Allan Benny introduced such a bill in Congress. This 
was passed by the House of Representatives on April 21, 1904. 
At the time of writing it had not passed the Senate. 

For the year ending May i, 1904, 7,194 feet of sewers had 
been laid ; 8 streets curbed and flagged ; 12,510 feet of water pipes 
laid, and 19 new hydrants placed. 

The annual tax budget for the year 1904, as passed by the 
Mayor and Council, reads as follows : — 

For supporting and maintaining public schools $98,596.23 

For school furniture for annexes 8,000.00 

For completing four rooms for School No. 8 4,000.00 

For fences around School No. 8 i ,000.00 

For alteration to building now used as Workingmen's 

Library for use as a school 4,500.00 

For interest on City of Bayonne bonds 29,524.00 

For interest on Road Construction bonds 1,990.00 

For interest on Refunded Road bonds 1,575.00 

For interest on Funded Assessment bonds 5,900.00 

For interest on Refunded Assessment bonds 16,580.00 

For Sinking Fund Road Construction bonds 1,200.00 

For Sinking Fund Refunded Road Construction bonds 1,050.00 

For Sinking Fund Refunded Assessment bonds 10,110.00 

For Sinking Fund Funded Assessment Bonds 3,540.00 

For Sinking Fund Avenue D Repaving bonds 1,000.00 

For Sinking Fund Library bonds 200.00 



For Sinking Fund for $100,000 School bonds $2,000.00 

For support of Fire Department 18,000.00 

For heating pubHc buildings and engine houses 1,500.00 

For lighting public buildings and engine houses 4,000.00 

For street repairs 19,000.00 

For stable extensions and out-buildings 5,000.00 

For books, stationery and printing 6,000.00 

For contingent expenses 12,000.00 

For Free Public Library 5,108.25 

For concrete sidewalk for new Library 2,000.00 

For Commissioner of Appeals 150.00 

For Supervisor of Taxes , 125.00 

For Board of Health 2,500.00 

For election and registry 1,000.00 

For installing police signal boxes 2,500.00 

For police pensions 3,025.00 

For salaries of city officials 25,400.00 

For salaries of Police Department 64,200.00 

For police incidentals 7,657.00 

For lighting streets 32,500.00 

For Assessment No. 245, improvement of East 

Twenty-second Street, confirmed June 3, 1897 10,000.00 

For assessment on city at large for public park 5,500.00 

Sec. 2. That the following sums be taken from the accumu- 
lated and current funds received for licenses for inns and taverns 
and restaurants and beer saloons not otherwise appropriated, and 
appropriated for the following purposes : — 

For expenses of sprinkling streets $2,000.00 

For removal of garbage and ashes and incidental ex- 
penses 8,000.00 


For salary of Street Commissioner $2,400.00 

For support of the poor 2,000.00 

For salary of Overseer of Poor 600.00 

For rental of suitable premises for an armory for 

Company I, Fourth Regiment, N. G. N. J 575-00 

For buildings, docks, and parks 10,000.00 

For maintenance and superintendence of fire alarm 

system 1,500.00 

For Bayonne Hospital 1,500.00 

For insurance 2,500.00 

For support of District Court 2,000.00 

Sec. 3. Eight thousand dollars to the Surveyor's Fund for 
salaries of the City Surveyor and his assistants, and to pay for 
the use of instruments, tools, implements and materials, and all 
other expenses of the Surveyor's Department. 

Sec. 4. One thousand dollars from the Fines and Penalties 
Account for the purpose of paying the salary of the Recorder's 
Clerk, and $540 for the purpose of paying the Court Interpreter's 

Sec. 5. In addition to the other taxes, there shall be as- 
sessed and collected from every male resident of the City of 
Bayonne, over the age of twenty-one (21) years, $1.00 as poll 
tax, to be applied for the purpose of supporting and maintaining 
the public schools. 

Sec. 6. In addition to the other taxes, there shall be as- 
sessed and collected such sums as shall be apportioned by the 
proper officials of Hudson County against the City of Bayonne 
for its quota of County and State tax. 

By comparing this budget with the first annual tax assess- 
ment, passed in 1869, the growth of the city can easily be appre- 


The City Treasurer's annual report for the fiscal year ending 
April 30, 1904, showed the following among the disbursements: — 

Salaries $31,189.36 

Gas 38,327.34 

Newark Bay Park. 3,244.33 

Free Public Library 5j383.25 

School land and buildings 20,009.30 

Bayonne Hospital 1,500.00 

City Surveyor 7,999.92 

Fire Department 8,367.35 

Poor 2,1 16.68 

Street repairs 13,139.70 

Police salaries 53,798-29 

Police pensions 1,475.04 

Garbage 7,289.72 

Board of Health 3,785.88 

Buildings, docks and parks 10,540,59 

N. Y. & N. J. Water Co 130,213.69 

Construction (Water Fund) 33,894.69 

Board of Education 171,140.00 

Out of this last item the sum of $133,452.50 was used for 

The Treasurer also reported the following cash balances on 
hand in the several funds, April 30, 1904: — 

Mechanics' Trust Co. 

General Fund $11,466.21 

Street Fund 3,324-76 

School Fund 3.900.58 

Funded Assessment Bonds Sinking Fund 6,711.66 

B A Y O N N E . 103 

Refunded Assessment Bonds Sinking Fund $5,085.89 

Water Bonds Sinking Fund 719-35 

Coupon Account .33 

Hudson County National Bank. 

Improvement Fund 12,639.98 

Arrears Fund 6,615.91 

Bayonne Bonds Sinking Fund 687.38 

Road Construction Bonds Sinking Fund 2,441.88 

Coupon Account 609.49 

Bayonne Bank. 

Improvement Fund 5'539-98 

Arrears Fund i,3i3-42 

Bayonne Trust Co. 

Water Fund 2,751.12 

Refunded Road Construction Bonds Sinking Fund., 1,567.56 

Total $65,375-50 

On June 21, the Common Council passed an ordinance grant- 
ing permission to the New York and New Jersey Water Company 
to construct two water mains through the city in order to supply 
Staten Island. The company agreed to erect forty fire hydrants, 
and supply free water for fires and sprinkling. Besides this, they 
agreed to pay a tax of five dollars for every million gallons of 
water passing through to Staten Island. 

At a meeting of the City fathers in the early part of August, 
it was thought advisable to erect a new building for Police Head- 
quarters. Owing to the increase in population, and the business 


at the City Hall, that building could not afford adequate accommo- 
dation for the city officials and their duties, apart from the offi- 
cials and business of the Police Department. A site was selected 
at the northeast corner of Avenue C and Twenty-sixth Street, and 
purchased for the sum of $3,850. The contract was awarded 
September i for the erection of a four-story brick building to 
cost $57,471. 

On the evening of October 29, the new Carnegie Library 
building was formally opened with appropriate ceremonies. 
Speeches were made by prominent persons, and the event may be 
recorded as a most notable one in the history of the city. 

For the year 1904, property, real and personal, amounted to 
$16,314,717, an increase of $989,950 over 1903. 



A Glimpse of the City as It is To-day. 

Bayonne City, now in its thirty-fifth year of existence as a 
city, is no longer a young, strugghng suburban community with 
three thousand inhabitants. It has developed into a full-grown 
and vigorous city with a population of forty-one thousand souls, 
and a city of which the State of New Jersey has reason to feel 

To-day it has a good and efficient Volunteer Fire Depart- 
ment, consisting of six steam engines, two hook and ladder trucks, 
and two hose companies, averaging about sixty men each. The 
Department is recognized by the New York underwriters to be 
one of the best volunteer forces in the vicinity of New York. 

The Post Office Department has eighteen mail carriers, and 
three deliveries are made in the business sections. 

The city is well policed. The Police Department consists of 
fifty men, all told. This includes a chief, two captains, six ser- 
geants, three detectives, four roundsmen, thirty-three patrolmen 
and one van driver. A new police signal system has recently 
been installed, and a separate building for Police Headquarters is 
in course of erection. 

The school system has improved considerably. There are 
eight schools, one high school and one evening school, as well as 
five annexes and several parochial and private schools. 


There is one hospital, which has an ambulance to answer 
calls for aid to the injured. Both electric and gas lights illumin- 
ate the streets. Most of the streets have been flagged and curbed, 
some macadamized and asphalted. A complete system of sewers 
has been established. Splendid drinking water is obtained from 
the Passaic River above Little Falls, where it is free from pollu- 
tion. There are three banking and trust companies, three build- 
ing and loan associations, two daily and two weekly newspapers, 
one hundred secret, benevolent and miscellaneous societies, 
twenty-six churches, a public park being laid out, and a $50,000 
Carnegie Library just completed. Monthly rents average from 
$15 to $50. Average sale price of improved property is from 
$2,000 up. Building lots per front foot. $7 to $30. The death 
rate is unusually low, being 17 per 1,000. 

Bayonne has enjoyed for years the enviable reputation of 
being foremost among the cities of New Jersey from an industrial 
standpoint. There are, at the present time, about 235 manufac- 
turing establishments, the product from which is valued upward 
of $40,000,000. Many of the greatest industries in the world are 
located here. The plant of the Standard Oil Company and the 
Tide Water Oil Company, known the world over, employ about 
3,000 men, and have facilities for a daily output of 40,000 barrels 
of refined oil.* The Babcock & Wilcox Tubular Boiler Com- 
pany, which is the most extensive and complete plant of its kind 
in the world, provides employment for 1,500 men. There is also 
the Orford Copper Works, the Pacific Coast Borax Works, 
GufTey Petroleum Company, Columbia Oil Company, Goubert 
Manufacturing Company, Electric Launch Company, Bayonne 
Chemical Works, Schwartzenback, Huber & Company's Silk 

*Constable's Hook is the terminus of the longest oil pipe line in the 
world. This is owned by the Standard Oil Company, and extends to the 
Indian Territory, some 1,800 miles. 

B A Y O N N E . 107 

Mills, Port Johnston Coal Docks, International Tin Company, 
Safety Insulated Wire and Cable Company, and other industries. 
This, of course, makes the city an important shipping point. 
Large steamship and sailing vessels load daily at Constable's 
Hook, Port Johnston and Bergen Point, carrying petroleum, oil, 
copper, ore, sulphur, coal and various other products to all parts 
of the globe. Railroad transportation is also carried on exten- 

The tallest chimney in America and second tallest in the 
world is located on Constable's Hook. This was erected two or 
three years ago, at a height of 365 feet. 

The increase in population has been far greater than most 
cities in the State. This is due, principally, to the fact that the 
large industries are the means for the employment of thousands 
of men. 

The city is cosmopolitan, especially in the Centerville and 
Hook districts. In these localities about 85 per cent, of the popu- 
lation is of foreign elements, coming from all corners of the earth, 
including Germany, Russia, Italy, Poland, Ireland, England, 
Sweden and Austria.* While some are of an objectionable class, 
taken as a whole they are an industrious, hard-working people, 
and have been the means of building up a thriving business sec- 
tion in these localities. 

In the better residential sections, many of the people own 
their homes ; others rent cottages or Chicago flats at $18 and up- 
ward.** In these districts, a large percentage of the men have 
their business in the great metropolis close at hand, and trains 
and trolleys run frequently to accommodate them. 

*In 1900 the foreign-born in the city numbered 10,786. 

**According to the last census (1900), 26.6 per cent, of the private 
families owned their own homes, while 7,3.4 per cent, lived in hired dwell- 



B A Y O N N E . 109 

Avenue D is the center for trade. The following estimated 

list will g-ive the reader an idea of the number of stores in the 
principal lines of business : — 

Butchers 64 Carpenters and builders. . 31 

Grocers 174 Plumbers 22 

Bakers 16 Painters 32 

Drygoods 44 Undertakers 7 

Milk dealers 24 Expresses 19 

Saloons 150 Variety stores 62 

Tailors 27 Barbers 47 

Druggists 14 Laundries 23 

Boot and shoe dealers, in- Furniture dealers 8 

eluding makers 64 

Among the professional men there are 18 lawyers and 22 

The area of the city is 2,530 acres, or 4 i/io square miles; 
besides 1,240 acres of submerged property. It is 3^ miles in 
length, and averages three-fourths mile wide. 

Salaries of Principal City Officials. 

Mayor'^ , $2,500 

Councilmen No salary 

City Treasurer 2,500 

City Clerk 2,400 

City Attorney 2,000 

City Surveyor** 8,000 

*The first Mayor to receive a salary was Egbert Seymour. 
**This includes the salary of the City Surveyor and his assistants, be- 
sides the expenses attached to this department. 


Tax Assessor $i,8oo 

Street Commissioner 2,400 

Collector of Revenues 2,000 

Water Purveyor 1,700 

Recorder 2,000 

Chief of Police 3,000 

Building Inspector 1,500 


Traveling Facilities from Early Days to Present — Early Country Roads. 

The first ferry legally established on the North River con- 
necting the New Jersey shore with that of Manhattan Island, was 
the Communipaw ferry which was erected in 1661 at the foot of 
Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City, with William Jansen in 

The increase in population along Bergen Neck in 1750 was 
thought to warrant the erection of a public ferry between Bergen 
Point and Staten Island, so on September 15 of that year, Jacob 
Corsen established a ferry which landed within a short distance 
of the present slip on this side. The boat was a small open scow, 
and was propelled by oars. 

On June 18, 1764, the Jersey City ferry was established.** 
It was started as an important part of the new stage route to 
Philadelphia via a road connecting Jersey City and Bergen Point. 

The following notice appeared at that time in the New York 
"Mercury" under date of July 2, 1764: — 

"A Ferry is established and kept across the Kill von Kull and 
that boats constantly attend for that Purpose, at a Place belonging 
to John Beck, and commonly called Mooddses, situate near the 
Dutch Church on Staten Island, from whence Passengers are 
transported directly across to Bergen Point, from which place 
there is a five mile Road leading directly to the said Powless's 

*Winfield's History of Hudson County. 
**Dunlap's History of New York. 


Hook ; so that a short, safe, easy and convenient Way is fixed by 
Means of these two Ferries, for all Travellers passing- to the City 
of New York, from any of the Southern Governments." 

These stages were first "set up" in 1764 and did a thriving 
business. The vehicle was a covered Jersey wagon without 
springs. Three days were usually consumed in dragging it to 
Philadelphia, and it was modestly called a "Flying Machine." In 
1772, however, time was reduced to one and one-half days. 

Anthony White, who owned the land where the Latourette 
House now stands, petitioned the Governor of New York in July, 
1764, for exclusive right to ferry across the "Kill van Corle."* 
The petition was not granted. In 1765, Michael Van Tuyl was 
the proprietor of the ferry.** 

The travel to the south was afterwards turned to a new route 
m-ade over the meadows on the line of the Newark Plank Road. 
This caused the Bergen Point ferry to gradually decline and soon 
suspend operation. 

In more recent years, John Goodheart, who lived on the 
shore, ferried people across in a skiff for a considerable time. 
Nicholas Cubberly also conveyed passengers over whenever re- 
quested. A horse boat was plying on it between 1840 and 1850. 

About 1863 a slip was built at the foot of Avenue C, on the 
Kills, and a boat put upon the ferry. It continued in operation 
for a few months, and was then destroyed by fire. 

In March, 1868, "The Bergen Point and Staten Island Ferry 
Co." was incorporated, but never gave sign of much life. 
Walter H. Frazer attempted to revive it in 1869, but after two 
weeks' experience, he abandoned the idea. After a few years 
traf^c was greater and it began to boom. "The Port Richmond 
and Bergen Point Ferry Co." took hold of it, and now the Public 

*New York Colonial MSS. 
**Winfield's History of Hudson County. 


Service Corporation has obtained control and has recently made 
considerable improA^ements. 

It is not known at what time the first road from Bergen to 
Bergen Point was laid. Some time previous to 1743 a King's 
Highway was laid from Bergen Town to Bergen Point along 
Newark Bay. This road was very sandy and ran partly through 
a swamp. It was vacated when, on October 10, 1764, a King's 
Highway was laid from Hendrick Sickle's barn to a point opposite 
the Dutch church on Staten Island. This new road became a 
part of the great stage route between New York and Philadelphia. 
Evidently, this road was not constructed in such a manner as to 
meet the requirements of travel, for on September 12, 1766, a 
road four rods wide was laid from "the Southwest Point of Ber- 
gen (Bergen Point) aforesaid along up Newark Bay," and from 
thence over to Paulus Hoeck.* 

This new road ran along the west side of Bayonnc about 
three hundred yards from the Newark Bay shore, through the 
picnic grounds in Pamrapo, where it joined the old King's High- 
way. It was commonly called the "Shore Road," and was the 
main road to these parts for about thirty years. A portion of it 
can still be seen. 

On June 29, 1796, another road was laid to Bergen Point. 
It entered Bayonne at the junction of what is now Avenue C and 
the Morris Canal,** went west, and then through the woods be- 
tween the present Speedway and Avenue C, thence southward to 
what is now Avenue D and Thirty-second Street, and from there 
in' a direct line to the Point. It was a familiar sight to see the old 
Vanderbilt stage coach, surrounded by a cloud of dust, jogging 
along on its way to Staten Island. 

*Winfield's History of Hudson County. 

**The stone supports of an old bridge at this place mark the site of this 
road. A section of it running from Forty-seventh to Fifty-first Streets is 
still in existence. 


A half century ago. Avenue D was simply a miry country 
road. The old plank sidewalks were little better than the raad, 
and the folks had to wade ankle deep through the mud. Cow- 
hide boots were a necessity. Teams were drawn with difficulty, 
and when stuck hub deep in the mud were hauled out by extra 
oxen. The Plank Road Company was afterward formed (about 
1856) and constructed a plank road running over the old middle 
road laid sixty years before. This road was one-half planks and 
one-half dirt, and toll was collected for travel thereon. One toll- 
gate stood on the site of Fifty-second Street. 

At this time Fifth and Eighth Streets were mere cowpaths. 
Grand Street was called "Niggers' Lane." The old Hook Road 
leading to Constable's Hook was at times entirely submerged by 
water from the Kill and New York Bay, and it was a difficult 
matter, if not a dangerous undertaking, to cross. 

The first public means of conveyance to Jersey City was a 
two-horse stage operated by George Anderson, early as 1848-50. 
This started at what is now Twenty-fifth Street. Anderson 
brought the mail from Jersey City to Mullaney's post-office in 

In later years, the only public conveyance to Jersey City and 
New York was Jacob Mersallie's stage line, or by boat from Ber- 
gen Point. The "Red Jacket," "Kills" and "Wyoming" landed 
at a dock then sittiated at the foot of Avenue D, to take on pas- 
sengers for New York. The ride on the stage was rather long 
and tiresome, and a bleak one in winter. In the summer, however, 
it was most delightful, especially along the old Plank Road, which 
wound around through the woods most of the way. 

The Jersey City and Bergen Railroad Company was incorpo- 
rated March 15, 1859. The Greenville and Ocean Avenue line 

*Mullaney's store is still standing on the old Plank Road at Centre 



terminated at the old car barns in Greenville later on. By an 
ordinance passed in August, 1885, the company was authorized by 
the City of Bayonne to "lay tracks in certain streets and avenues 
and to run horse cars thereon only." The franchise also granted 
the laying of tracks for a branch line on East Twenty-second 
Street. The main line extended up Avenue C over its present 
route to the Kill von Kull. The cars were small, were pulled by 
mules, and were in charge of one man, who acted as both driver 
and conductor. These cars were called "'dinkeys." A slight im- 
provement was added by the use of horses in place of the slow, 
stubborn mules. However, it took about two hours to travel from 
ferry to ferry. In 1888, the Fifth Street line was added. 

The Central R. R. of N. J. for many years terminated at 
Elizabethport. In i860 an act was passed authorizing the com- 
pany to build a bridge to Bergen Point and to extend the road to 
Jersey City. 

Old Centrai, Railroad Bridge. 

This extension was completed and opened for travel August 
1, 1864. Eighth Street, the main station, was erected, that lo- 
cality being the most populated section at the time. 

ii6 H ISTO RY O F 

The Dummy Road was built about 1864. This road began 
just west of the Latourette House at Bergen Point, and ran 
through private property between Avenues C and D to where 
Garrett's Hotel now is, at Thirty-second Street, where it crossed 
the old Plank Road and continued north, close to what is now 
Avenue D, thence to the Junction in Greenville. Here passen- 
gers for Jersey City and New York would have to change .for the 
horse car to convey them to the ferry. The Dummy was one 
car, with the engine at one end of it. The time of travel was 
from one and one-half to five hours one way, according to how 
the engine felt. The fare was twenty-five cents. 

In the "Evening Journal" under date of Friday, March 26, 
1869, the writer finds this : — "The complaints of the dummy travel 
continue. Yesterday the dummy, in charge of Mr. Whiteneck, 
broke down in multitudinous localities. Passengers were 
obliged to walk in considerable mud." 

This road was not a success, and ceased operations in 1870. 
The old barns may yet be seen at Bergen Point. 

A franchise authorizing the Jersey City and Bergen Railroad 
Company to use electric motors as the propelling power of its 
cars, and to erect poles and string the necessary wires therefrom, 
was granted August 16, 1893. After this the horse car was 
abandoned by the establishment of the trolley system, the traffic 
on which steadily increased and the road improved upon consid- 
erably to meet the requirements. 

At a meeting of the Common Council, held on July i, 1902, 
the North Jersey Railroad Company (who at that time controlled the 
trolley system) filed a petition for a franchise to operate a trolley 
line on Avenues A and B and to transfer its system from Avenue 
C to Avenue D. The granting of these privileges, while meeting 
with favor by the Board of Trade and most business men, was 

BAYONNE. ' 117 

for some reason never acted upon, and the petition was finally 

The trolley service has been under control of the Consolidated 
Traction Company, North Jersey Street Railway Company, and 
at present is under control of the Public Service Corporation. 
The trolley service to-day shows a marked improvement over ten 
years ago. Large, modern cars are run under five-minute head- 

The Central Railroad now has five stations, and trains are fre- 
quent for the accommodation of commuters. 



Early Worship — First Churches. 

In the early days, those inhabitants who did not care to travel 
as far as the old Bergen Dutch Church in Bergen, would worship 
God in their own homes and in small gatherings. On Sabbath 
mornings, the inhabitants along the Kill von Kull might have 
been seen entering their skiffs and going across to the north 
side of Staten Island to worship. The need of a church was 
very evident. Consequently, during the summer and fall of 1828 
those persons who were interested in securing public Sabbath 
services, erected a small church on land given by Mr. Cadmus, 
situated on the old middle road, and on January 11, 1829, the 
First Reformed Church of Bayonne was organized as the Re- 
formed Dutch Church of Bergen Neck, with Ira C. Boyce as 
pastor. Among the prominent factors in the movement were 
Richard Cadmus, Sr., Richard Cadmus, Jr., John Cadmus, 
Michael Cadmus, James C. Van Buskirk. John Van Buskirk, 
Jacob Cubberly, Jacob Van Horn, John Vreeland, Jasper Za- 
briskie, and others. This church was the first to be erected in 
Bayonne. The original cost was $1,600, and the building ac- 
commodated about two hundred and fifty people. The edifice is 
still standing and belongs to the Republican Club. It is now on 
the corner of Avenue D and Twenty-ninth Street, but was 
originally built about one block south. The second and present 
edifice, on Avenue C and Thirty-third Street, was dedicated 
March 31, 1867. In the early sixties, the parsonage stood on 


Constable's Hook on the site of the present boiler works. This 
building was removed later, and is now standing on Ingham 

Early as 1831, the Methodists had a mission with Thomas 
G. Stewart as their pastor. On June 22, 1844, the "Bergen Neck 
M. E. Church" was incorporated. (Mattison M. E. Church, and 
now First Methodist Church.) 

There was, in 1845, ^ Methodist church standing on the 
northwest corner of what is now Avenue D and Twenty-fourth 
Street. This was the first and original building in which they 
worshiped. It was a small, frame, peak-shaped building and was 
called the ''Little Beehive," because of a swarm of bees which en- 
tered through a knot hole and stored their honey over the front 
door on the inside. This honey was taken out every fall, and 
sold for the benefit of the church. Thomas McDonald and Gar- 
rett Vreeland were the founders and main supporters of this little 
church. A new edifice was built on the east side of Avenue D 
near Twenty-ninth Street, the corner-stone of which was laid in 
1854. In 1868 they moved this building to Avenue D and 
Thirty-second Street.* The corner-stone for the present edifice 
at Avenue C and Thirty-first Street was laid in 1891. 

The Reformed Church of Bergen Point was organized May 
16, 1854, and Rev. Jacob C. Butcher was its first pastor. 

Those residents of Bergen Point professing a choice for the 
Episcopal service attended the church on Staten Island. In 
August, 1859, Trinity Church of Bergen Point was organized, 
with Franklin S. Rising as pastor. 

The church building of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church 
at Bergen Point was consecrated March 18 of the following year. 

These, then, were the first churches in Bayonne. They were 

♦Site of Garrett's Hotel. 



BAYO N N E . 121 

lighted with home-made candles, and later with oil lamps, and 
heated principally by Gothic stoves that at times filled the church 
so full of smoke that the minister could scarcely be seen by the 
congregation. Reed organs were used ; hymns only were sung ; 
Si. 50 was considered a substantial collection. The dominie's 
salary averaged from $400 to $900 per year, in addition to vegeta- 
bles, wood, etc., donated by members of the congregation. From 
this, however, the religious population increased considerably, so 
that in 1870 there were eleven churches. To-day there are 
twenty-six churches, representing nearly every denomination. 
They can be classified as follows : — Seventeen Protestant, seven 
Catholic, two Hebrew. There are also two Sisterhoods. About 
8,000 church members, estimated. 

Early Bergen Church Marriage Records. 

Van Boskerk, Lourens, b. at Hackensack, and Fytje Cor- 
nelissen Vreelant, b. at Gemoenepau, both 1. at Pemmerpoch. 
1709 — Sept. 18. 

Bruyn, Barend and Antje Borten, both b. and 1. at Pem- 
merpoch. 1 714, Mar. 27. 

Lisk, John, lives at Bergen point, and Catrientje Huysman, 
1. on Staten Isld, both b. on Staten Island, 1767, June 20. 

Van Tile, Michael, and Sophia Cubberly both of Pamra- 
paugh. 1797. Dec. 9. 

Van Borckeloo. Wilhem Hermensen, from N. Utrecht, and 
Maria Cordeljon, the groom 1. at Constapclshoeck, the bride at N. 
Utrecht, received certificate Aug. i. and m. April 5, at Amers- 
foort. 1697 Mar. 7. 



Vital Statistics of Bayonne. 

Population — Births — Marriages — Deaths. 

Vital Statistics. 






















































Marriages. Deaths 

























1 901 








1 ,036 


Marriages. Deaths. 




199 556 

259 581 

321 575 

309 687 

Population estimated, with exception of years marked (*) 
which are the figures according to the census. 

Tax Rx\tes per $100 Valuation. 




?2.22 1895 $2.87 

2.32 1896 2.62 

2.20 1897 2.82 

2.47 1898 2.75 

2.32 1899 2.72 

2.39 1900 2.70 

2.62 1901 2.68 

2.32 1902 2.90 

2.39 1903 2.90 

2.35 1904 2.79 



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